U.S. seniors happier playing video games

March 5, 2013 at 11:23 PM

RALEIGH, N.C., March 5 (UPI) -- Older U.S. adults who play video games report higher levels of emotional well-being, North Carolina State University researchers say.

Lead author Jason Allaire, an associate professor of psychology, and Anne McLaughlin, an assistant professor of psychology, and colleagues asked 140 adults age 63 and older how often they played video games -- if at all.

The study participants then took a battery of tests to assess their emotional and social well-being.

The study, published online in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found 61 percent of study participants played video games at least occasionally, while 35 percent of participants played at least once per week.

The study found participants who played video games, including those who only played occasionally, reported higher levels of well-being. Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions and a tendency toward higher levels of depression, the study said.

"The research published here suggested there a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning," Allaire said in a statement. "We are currently planning studies to determine whether playing digital games actually improves mental health in older adults."

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