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Boys with autism spend much more time playing video games

July 29, 2013 at 10:26 PM   |   Comments

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COLUMBIA, Mo., July 29 (UPI) -- Boys with autism spectrum disorder spend much more time playing video games than do boys with typical development, U.S. researchers say.

Micah O. Mazurek of the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Columbia, Mo., and Christopher R. Engelhardt of Psychological Sciences of the University of Missouri, Columbia, surveyed parents of 141 boys, ages 8-18, about their video game usage.

The study, published online ahead of the August edition of the journal Pediatrics, found boys with autism spectrum disorder and those with 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 autism spectrum disorder and those with ADHD, and a preference for role-playing games was particularly associated with problematic game use in boys with autism spectrum disorder.

The study authors stated these findings show a need for heightened awareness and assessment of problematic video game use for children with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD.

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