Games don’t predict depression — but social media does, new study suggests

Some parents out there surely think that video games are a source of depression and anxiety in teenagers, but a new study suggests that that’s not the case.

As PsyPost reports, two new studies have come out analyzing rates of depression and anxiety in teens, with one of the studies gathering data over the course of four years. Researchers examined data from 3,659 children from 7th through 10th grades, roughly pegging the age group at 13–16-year-olds.

ALSO: Facts and theories on what’s changing in RE3 remake

The teens were asked to self report how much time they spent in front of digital screens and how they used that time, gathering data on their usage of the following mediums:

  • Social media
  • Television
  • Video games
  • Computers

The results of the study found that higher than average use of television, social media, and the computer was a predictor of worse anxiety symptoms. A similar study found the same for depression for social media usage and television viewing. Video games, however, was not a predictor in these studies — possibly because it has become more of a social activity.

“Compared with their forerunners 15 to 20 years ago, the average video gamer is not socially isolated. It has been shown that more than 70% of gamers play their games with a friend, either physically together or online,” the study stated.

Bear in mind that this research only suggests that video games don’t cause depression or anxiety. We can’t really definitively say that’s the case until the issue is examined many more times.