Video games are a critical tool in cognitive development and more importantly the treatment of adolescent depression.
What effects do video games have on depression? What effects do they have on development? What is the different effects between age groups?
The goal of the research was to determine the cognitive effects video games have, specifically on depression. This research found that video games, when used in adolescent psychotherapy, showed increased efficacy in the treatment of depression in a majority of the cases. Further research should be completed in regards to commercially available games versus targeted psychotherapy games.
To give a basic background on the topics discussed: Depression affects 8.4% of Americans, as well as 3.4% of adolescents. In 2022 the 4th most common reported hobby was Video games. In the modern age almost 90% of children play video games, and the use of games in psychotherapy started in the 1980's.
This first image provides a breakdown of time spent on activities self reported by adolescents and differentiating between gamers and nongamers. This graph is important as it shows how games affect the lives of those who use them.
This second image from the same study shows the breakdown between boys and girls, showing that both still spend time with family and friends.