Games Lead To Poor Relationships?

A recently released study claims to have found “modest” links between gaming and having poor relationships with friends and family. The study was based off of the responses from 813 college students across the country. The study is from Brigham Young University undergrad student Alex Jensen and his faculty mentor Laura Walker. The results of the study were published in the January 23 issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Basically, the findings show that, as someone spends more time playing games, they ignore their relationships and avoid other social settings. Walker stated, “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. My guess is that it’s some of both and becomes circular.”

Of course, we are accustomed to hearing that gaming causes violent behavior, but this is the first time I’ve seen it linked to less social behavior. I think a lot of gamers would argue that gaming is actually a more social activity. Unfortunately, this socializing is more in the form of virtual interaction than it is face to face.

The study also found that people who game are more likely to try alcohol and drugs, and young women were more likely to have low self worth. Walker says, “Relationship quality is one of a cluster of things that we found to be modestly associated with video games. The most striking part is that everything we found clustered around video game use is negative.”

I personally don’t agree with this at all. I think young people have always had the tendencies to try things like alcohol and drugs. It does not mean that they only tried them because they happen to game.

Do you find you avoid family and friends in order to play games? Does this negatively affect your relationships?

Incidentally, my wife is the one that sent me this link…


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  • Z13

    I live in Orem, UT (town right next to Provo, where BYU is located) and saw this story on the local news, with my wife. We both laughed at it.