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Study reports seniors who play video games are happier

March 6, 2013
by Patricia Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief
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New research finds that older adults who play video games report higher levels of emotional well-being.

The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that participants who played video games, including those who only played occasionally, reported higher levels of well-being. Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions and a tendency toward higher levels of depression.

Researchers at North Carolina State University asked 140 people aged 63 and older how often they played video games, if at all. The study participants then took a battery of tests to assess their emotional and social well-being. Sixty-one percent of study participants played video games at least occasionally, with 35 percent of participants saying they played at least once per week.

“The research published here suggests that there a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning,” said Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of a paper describing the study and an associate professor of psychology at NCSU, in a statement. “We are currently planning studies to determine whether playing digital games actually improves mental health in older adults.”

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