Research Project to Explore Student Gaming Habits

Three Misericordia University grads are embarking on a study of the gaming habits of 7-12 year olds as part of the research toward their Master’s degrees in occupational therapy.

As reported by the Standard-Speaker, the survey, distributed to nearly 4,000 students in the Hazleton, Pennsylvania area, is titled Exploring Children’s Video Game Use. It aims to examine gaming habits, the types and ratings of games preferred, and the accessibility of games amongst elementary students.

Dr. Ellen McLaughlin, interim dean for Health Sciences at the university, approved the project:

With the rapid increases in video gaming, and the emergence of a computer culture, we are beginning to be concerned about how too much time spent in this type of activity might potentially influence other areas of their life.

The 8-page survey asks parents about such things as how much time children spend on social activities, sports, leisure, or work, and whether the child would rather be playing video games instead. Actual game time on weekdays and weekends is also noted. Parents are asked if the child has complete discretion on game use, or whether there are rules or limitations imposed. And finally, the survey wants to know if certain behaviours were observed, such as whether gaming has impacted any relationships the child had.

Superintendent Frank Victor approved the circulation of the surveys, and said he was interested to see how much of an impact there was on local students.

– Reporting from Canada, GP Correspondent Colin “Jabrwock” McInnes

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