Researchers from the CEU Cardenal Herrera University (CEU UCH) in Castellón and from the Universidad de Valencia (UV) have analyzed the relation between the use of video games and academic results among Valencian teenagers.
The study, carried out with questionnaires distributed among over 1,500 secondary education students of the Valencia region, reveals that they spend an average of 47.23 minutes playing video games a day, although this figure is lower during the week than on weekends. Youths who play more time from Monday to Friday fail more subjects, whereas those who spend more time playing video games on weekends get better grades.
The study “Video game usage time on the academic performance of teenagers” has been published in journal Comunicar, and its authors are lecturers from the Department of Education of the CEU UCH of Castellón, Fernando Gómez-Gonzalvo, together with José Devis-Devis and Pere Molina-Alventosa, professor and lecturer, respectively, at the Department of Physical Education and Sport of the UV.
The study also provides other relevant information: frequent, moderate and many occasional players obtain good academic results, as opposed to intense players, which indicates that a moderate use of video games does not affect the academic performance of teenagers.
This research intends to shed light on the scientific debate on the possible negative effects of video games among the youth and, specifically, on their academic performance. A debate that for years has generated great concern among citizens and the educational community due to the weight that this type of games has on the leisure of youths.
According to the Spanish Youth Report of 2016, eight in 10 teenagers play video games. Furthermore, this is the group that most time spends with them, according to the latest report issued by the Spanish Videogame Association.
Negative? It depends
According to lecturer Fernando Gómez-Gonzalvo, “numerous studies of the scientific community on the video game-school performance relationship provide apparently contradictory conclusions. Thus, there are studies that indicate that video games harm academic results, whereas others have found positive effects, depending on variables such as the total amount of time spent playing video games or the type of curricular content assessed. Thus, we decided to focus our research on the distribution of this time used playing video games between school days and weekends, as a relevant variable for this analysis.”
The research conducted by these lecturers delves into the relation between the usage time depending on the type of day and academic performance, as well as on the differences of usage time profiles of teenagers depending on their academic performance.