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Boys with ASD or ADHD Are at Increased Risk for Problematic Video Game Use

7/29/2013 For Release:  July 29, 2013

A study in the August issue of Pediatrics, “Video GameUse in Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, or Typical Development,” (published online July 29) surveyed parents of 141 boys, ages 8 to 18, about their video game usage. The study found that boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spent much more time playing video games than their typically developing peers (2.1 versus 1.2 hours per day).  Boys with ASD and those with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) had greater in-room access to video games and were at greater risk for problematic or addictive video game use than typically developing boys. Inattention (but not hyperactivity) was associated with problematic game use in boys with ASD and those with ADHD, and a preference for role-playing games was particularly associated with problematic game use in boys with ASD. The authors state that these findings show a need for heightened awareness and assessment of problematic video game use for children with ASD and ADHD.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.