A new small-scale study conducted by the University of Missouri collected data from 141 parents of boys with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and boys with ‘normal’ development. It questioned mums about how much time their sons spent playing video games.
The study found that boys with ASD spend an average of 2 hours a day playing video games, compared to the 1.7 hours of boys with ADHD and 1.2 hours on average for ‘normally developing’ children.
Researchers also found that boys with ASD and ADHD were more likely to have access to video games in their rooms.
Interestingly, boys with ASD were more likely to choose role-playing games over violent shoot ‘em ups.
Researchers can only speculate at this stage what might cause the correlation between video game usage and developmental disorders, and the NHS has stressed the need for further research in the area.