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Problematic Video Game Use Up in Boys With ASD, ADHD

In multivariate models, inattentive symptoms predicted problematic game use in ASD, ADHD

MONDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Boys with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have more problematic video game use compared to boys with typical development, according to a study published online July 29 in Pediatrics.

Micah O. Mazurek, Ph.D., from the University of Missouri, and Christopher R. Engelhardt, Ph.D., from the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders -- both in Columbia, Mo., examined video game use in 56 boys (aged 8 to 18 years) with ASD, 44 with ADHD, and 41 with typical development. Daily hours of video game use, in-room video game use, video game genres, problematic video game use, and ASD and ADHD symptoms were assessed via questionnaires.

The researchers found that boys with ASD spent more time playing video games (2.1 hours/day) than boys with typical development (1.2 hours/day). Greater in-room video game access and problematic video game use were seen for the ASD and ADHD groups compared with boys with typical development. For both the ASD and ADHD groups, inattentive symptoms predicted problematic game use in multivariate models. In the ASD group, preferences for role-playing games predicted problematic game use.

"These results suggest that children with ASD and those with ADHD may be at particularly high risk for significant problems related to video game play, including excessive and problematic video game use," the authors write. "The current findings indicate a need for heightened awareness and assessment of problematic video game use in clinical care settings for children with ASD and ADHD."

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