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Video Gaming Pros and Cons – What Parents Need to Know


<< Back Video gaming, internet use and related activities can all have an adverse impact on adolescent boys, and parents should be on the lookout for signs of such impacts, says Paul Weigle, MD, assistant medical director at Natchaug Hospital, part of Hartford HealthCare's Behavioral Health Network, who recently presented on this topic at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Conference. Video games have been around for decades, but have become prolific in recent years - particularly for teenage boys, who have seen a four-fold increase in time spent gaming between 2000 and 2019. The pandemic exacerbated this, and doubled the average screen time from previous years. “For most children gaming can be a positive and enjoyable experience, but the increasing screen time we are seeing does have both pluses and minuses ,” says Dr. Weigle, a national expert on the impact of screen time on children and teens. One concern is that violent games can desensitize children to violence and lead to aggressive thoughts and behaviors, but Dr. Weigle clarified that only a small minority of gamers are incited to commit violence themselves. These children require more intensive counseling and assistance including family therapy sessions. A more common issue [...]

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