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1/23/2009
07:58 PM
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Video Games Worsen Relationships

For example, the study found that involvement with risky behaviors like drinking and drug abuse rose with video-game playing time.

Video games tend to diminish the quality of relationships with friends and family, according to study published Friday in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

The research was conducted by Brigham Young University undergrad Alex Jensen and Laura Walker, a professor in BYU's School of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. It's based on data gathered from 813 college students around the country.

According to the study, the more time student respondents reported playing video games, the worse they assessed their relationships with peers and parents.

"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," Walker told the BYU news service. "My guess is that it's some of both and becomes circular."

The study found the connection to be only "modest," but in general all the associations with video-game playing noted by the study were negative. For example, the study found that involvement with risky behaviors like drinking and drug abuse rose with video-game playing time. Young adults who play video games daily were twice as likely to say they smoked pot as occasional video game players and three times as likely as video game abstainers.

Other recent BYU research findings include a study suggesting that becoming disabled increases marital happiness and a study showing that religious involvement makes teens half as likely to use marijuana. BYU is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon Church.

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