Video games are either the scourge of the Earth or a great way to spend some time with friends and family as well as an outlet for aggression depending on who you speak with. There have been many studies that have looked into the effects of video games on behavior and the studies have come down on all sides of the issue.
A new study claims to have found modest links between video games and poor relationships with family and friends. The study is from Brigham Young University undergrad student Alex Jensen and his faculty mentor Laura Walker. The results of the study were published in the January 23 issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
The study was based on the responses and information collected from 813 college students across the country. The study results reportedly found that as the time spent playing video games goes up, the relationships with peers and parents went down.
Walker said in a statement, "It may be that young adults remove themselves from important social settings to play video games, or that people who already struggle with relationships are trying to find other ways to spend their time. My guess is that it's some of both and becomes circular."
Jensen says he hoped to find justification for playing Madden NFL and Walker said the study results didn’t stand in the way of her family getting a Wii. The pair points these facts out as a way to show they are not anti-video game one could assume.
A statistical analysis also revealed that young adults who play video games more frequently also tend to undertake risky behaviors like drinking and drug abuse. Young women who play video games were also found more likely to have lower self-worth.
Walker says, "Relationship quality is one of a cluster of things that we found to be modestly associated with video games. The most striking part is that everything we found clustered around video game use is negative."
Video games and their link to violent behavior is one of the favorite study topics. A study from November of 2007 found no link between video games and violent behavior.