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Could My Child Be Addicted to Video Games?

Text: Q&A

The word "addiction" gets used a lot to describe a certain kind of focused attention on entertainment and technology. We say we're "addicted" to checking our email or "addicted" to watching our favorite show. But research shows that 8- to 18-year-olds also turn to video games and other forms of technology to stay connected with family and friends.

If you have concerns about your kid's behavior, you may want to talk with a pediatrician about whether game addiction or another issue, such as depression, might be causing these problems. Try to pay attention to whether playing video games affects their mood, grades, or how they interact with others.

Also consider how much time you spend looking at screens. Make sure you're setting a good example at home by modeling how long to use devices and when to put them away. And it's always a good idea to encourage your child to do something offline, like spending time outside and socializing with others.

The Child Mind Institute contributed to this article. Learn more at

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