Why Don’t Kids Pay Attention?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

Researchers report that there is a correlation between how much time kids spend in front of video games and television, and their ability to focus in school.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

Elementary school-age and college-age participants who exceed two hours per day of screen time are as much as twice as likely to be above average in attention problems.

In addition, the researchers “conclude that TV and video game viewing may be one contributing factor for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.”

Why does playing video games and watching TV cause attention problems?  The report explains:

If we train the brain to require constant stimulation and constant flickering lights, changes in sound and camera angle, or immediate feedback, such as video games can provide, then when the child lands in the classroom where the teacher doesn’t have a million-dollar-per-episode budget, it may be hard to get children to sustain their attention.

Some food for thought.  Our 12-year old son plays video games, but we are now requiring that for each hour over one hour daily that he wants to play, he must read for the same amount of time.  Anybody else have ideas about how to limit screen time for kids?

  • Matt Salmon

    Manual labor, that fixes everything. Haha

    there’s a correlation, but which causes which? Or is there and underlying cause for both?
    Are kids above average for attention problems more likely to crave video games and television?Is a gene that causes attention problems linked to one that causes video game cravings, on which that industry has capitalized.

  • Boz

    Bill Pratt said: “Why does playing video games and watching TV cause attention problems?”

    Your implied assumption in this question, that playing video games and watching TV causes attention problems, is not supported by the research, which only finds a correlation.

    (unrelated, can you please allow RSS subscription to the comments of an individual post. I think it was possible for a little while and now it is not(?) )

  • Bill Pratt

    Boz,
    You said, “can you please allow RSS subscription to the comments of an individual post. I think it was possible for a little while and now it is not(?) )”

    I’m not sure how to enable this feature. I’ve always given the ability to email subscribe to comments, but I’m not sure how to allow RSS feeds to comments. I’ll dig around a little and see if this is an option I can turn on.

  • thanks Bill! 🙂 🙁 😮 :p :@ 😉