Evaluation of video game playing status in school-age children with various variables
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Objective: Excessive video game playing has several health implications on children. In this study, we evaluate the factors related to video game use in school-aged children. Material and Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study included 160 children aged 6-8 years who applied to outpatient clinics at the Department of Pediatrics at Baskent University Hospital. Each parent completed a structured questionnaire including demographic information, video game use, average daily screen time, and parental habits and concerns about their children's screen use. Results: The mean age of first video game use was (mean +/- SD) 2.8 +/- 1.1 years. The minimum age for playing video games was 1 year. Male children spent more time playing video games. Both parental age and maternal education level were higher in the group of video gamers compared with non-gamers (p<0.05). Average time spent playing video games was 2.7 +/- 1.6 hours/day. The group of video gamers had a considerably younger age for starting watching television and higher rates for other video gamers at home than non-gamers (p=0.036 and p<0001, respectively). The group of video gamers had significantly higher rates for having a computer, tablet, and game console at home compared with non-gamers (p<0.05). Conclusions: Our study indicates a statistically significant relationship between the age of starting watching television, gender of child, parent's age, maternal education, and the categories of video gaming habits. Developing strategies toward avoiding early screen exposure in children should be taken into consideration, because it is directly related to video gaming habits in children.