Study finds relation betweeen video games and drug use

By Jill Fries
February 19, 2009

Drug and alcohol use, along with poor personal relationships and low self-esteem, is what a new study has found with college students who frequently play video games.

The study was done by Laura M. Padilla-Walker, an associate professor at the School of Family Life at Brigham-Young University, and her colleagues.

For 12 months, Padilla-Walker and her colleagues examined frequency and type of video game and Internet used by undergraduate college students: 500 females and 313 males.

On average, the students who participated in the study were 20 years old and received course credit.

The participants were also asked to look at their own lives with drug and alcohol use, perceptions of self-worth, quality of relationships and perceptions of social acceptance.

Anthony Stola, sophomore accounting major, said, “I don’t know about drug use, but I think self-esteem may be affected because a lot of people who play video games don’t tell anyone because they are afraid to be judged.” Stola plays several computer games for fun and out of boredom while here on campus.

Although Stola does not suffer from any of the negative factors, he does see some people who do and some may be his teammates from a game.

“The computer games I play have teams of sometimes 20 people,” Stola said.

“It’s just like any sport; you become part of a team and if they need you to play, you have to be there. For some people, that does affect their social life or relationships.

It is very time consuming to be good.” Stola also explained that for some people, it is their job to play video games to win money. They are part of a league.

When it comes to money, video games may become more risky with the negative behaviors than they should be.

There have been numerous stories on the news about students becoming violent from excessive video game use that uses violence and that cause these students to not be accepted by social groups.

These types of gamers sometimes pretend to be from the video game itself, which can become very dangerous for those around as well as the gamer itself.

The Journal of Youth and Adolescence shared the findings: young men played video games three times as often as young women and the games were violent eight times as often.

Padilla-Walker said these findings are just the beginning of understanding the health and development of young adults.

Cabrini students can now monitor their video game or Internet usage.

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Jill Fries

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