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Video games boost kids' intelligence and social skills, not violent behavior: study

Update Date: Mar 20, 2016 05:51 AM EDT

A study showed that playing video games can help young kids to be more social, better in school, and overall more intelligent.

Conducted by researchers at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Paris Descartes University, the data was based from the School Children Mental Health Europe project, which involved 3,195 children aged 6 to 11. The result was published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology under the article entitled "Is time spent playing video games associated with mental health, cognitive and social skills in young children?" 

Each child's parents and teachers took part in the study, with  parents reporting their child's video game usage and teachers providing information on academic performance, the Medical Daily Reported. .

The researchers found that kids who spent more time playing video games each week were nearly twice as likely to be higher "intellectual functioning", do better in school, and less likely to experience problems within their peer groups. There was no significant association between playing video games and mental health issues.

Dr. Katherine M. Keyes, assistant professor at the Mailman School of Public Health and lead author of the article, noted the results of the study indicate that children who frequently play video games, often a collaborative leisure time activity, may be socially cohesive with peers and integrated into the school community." 

However, the team warned that the manner video games are played that bring positive results will need further investigation. Keyes also cautioned that the single  doesn't support the idea that  kids can play video games as much as they want. She said parents should still limit the time a child spends in front of a screen, and that doing so will be beneficial to the "overall strategy for student success."

In recent years, the benefits of playing video games have become clearer, with studies pointing out that it improves cognitive function in multiple sclerosis patients as well as how we navigate the world.  

However, there are still studies that reproetd that video games induce violence and antisocial behavior. 
In a 2015 study by the American Psychological Association, playing violent video games was linked to increased aggression in players. But the APA admitted that there was insufficient evidence exists about whether the link extends to criminal violence or delinquency. 

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