Friday August 23, 2019

Researchers: Video Games can Help Children Evaluate, Express and Manage Emotions

Emotional intelligence can be better explained when there are emotions involved from both sides

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Video games, Children, Emotions
Video games may improve the expression of emotions, but awareness and coping strategies can't be solely understood by games. PIxabay

While it’s commonly believed that video games are harmful for children, researchers have found that it can help them evaluate, express and manage emotions when used as part of an emotional intelligence training programme.

“Video games may improve the expression of emotions, but awareness and coping strategies can’t be solely understood by games. Emotional intelligence can be better explained when there are emotions involved from both sides,” Manish Jain, Consultant at BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi, told IANS.

According to the study published in the Games for Health Journal, researchers from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Italy developed an emotional intelligence training programme that integrated video games as experience-based learning tools.

The researchers created EmotivaMente, a video game, to enhance emotional intelligence among adolescents, perhaps the group that could benefit the most. They analysed 121 adolescents who participated in eight sessions.

Video games, Children, Emotions
While it’s commonly believed that video games are harmful for children, researchers have found that it can help them evaluate. Pixabay

“Games for health have been designed to address an increasing variety of issues. A relatively new health issue is emotional intelligence, which has implications for various health problems, including coping with stress,” said Tom Baranowski, Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in the US.

The preliminary evaluation indicated that video games enhanced the students’ evaluation and expression of emotions.

But some experts believe outdoor activities should be given more importance to develop emotional intelligence, which includes awareness of emotions, managing emotions effectively and maintaining relationships, in children.

“In the modern day where interaction is increasingly becoming online and more time is spent indoors, the right way to build emotional intelligence is people-to-people interactions and connecting, spending quality time with peers and family, learning through experiences and feedback,” Samir Parikh, Consultant Psychiatrist and Director at Fortis Mental Health Programme in Delhi, told IANS.

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“Video games are not the most prudent way to enhance emotional skills. Young people should have a well-balanced life with adequate outdoor activities and investment of time and energy in building relationships by working on communication and person-to-person connect,” Parikh said.

Sagar Lavania, Head of Department, Psychiatry and Mental Health, Nayati Medicity, Mathura, believes “human and one-on-one interactions are ideal ways to increase emotional intelligence, especially among adolescents, and can never be substituted by alternative methods”.

“However, if newer techniques are coming up, it needs to be thoroughly researched and supervised, keeping in mind the vulnerability of teenagers,” he remarked. (IANS)

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No More Than Two Hours of Recreational Screen Time a Day Can Save Your Children from Becoming Impulsive

Impulsive behaviour is associated with numerous mental health and addiction problems, including eating disorders, behavioural addictions

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Screen Time, Children, Impulsive
Impulsive behaviour is greatly linked to sleep and screen time, found Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa. Pixabay

Nine-11 hours of sleep and no more than two hours of recreational screen time a day is what can save your children from becoming impulsive and make poorer decisions in life, find researchers.

Impulsive behaviour is greatly linked to sleep and screen time, found Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa.

“Impulsive behaviour is associated with numerous mental health and addiction problems, including eating disorders, behavioural addictions and substance abuse,” said Dr Michelle Guerrero, lead author from CHEO Research Institute and University of Ottawa.

The paper, published in the journal Pediatrics, analysed data for 4,524 children from the first set of data of a large longitudinal population study.

Screen Time, Children, Impulsive
Nine-11 hours of sleep and no more than two hours of recreational screen time a day is what can save your children from becoming impulsive and make poorer decisions in life, find researchers. Pixabay

In addition to sleep and screen time, the study also captured data related to physical activity — at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily.

The ABCD study allowed Guerrero and her team to look at the three pillars of the movement guidelines against eight measures of impulsivity, such as one’s tendency to seek out thrilling experiences, to set desired goals, to respond sensitively to rewarding or unpleasant stimuli, and to act rashly in negative and positive moods.

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The results suggested that meeting all three pillars of the movement guidelines was associated with more favorable outcomes on five of the eight dimensions. (IANS)