Not so doomed: computer game play and positive adolescent development

K. Durkin, B. Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Citations (Scopus)


It has been speculated that computer game play by young people has negative correlates or consequences, although little evidence has emerged to support these fears. An alternative possibility is that game play may be associated with positive features of development, as the games reflect and contribute to participation in a challenging and stimulating voluntary leisure environment. This study examined the relationship between game play and several measures of adjustment or risk taking in a sample of 16-year-old high school students. No evidence was obtained of negative outcomes among game players. On several measures - including family closeness, activity involvement, positive school engagement, positive mental health, substance use, self-concept, friendship network, and disobedience to parents - game players scored more favorably than did peers who never played computer games. It is concluded that computer games can be a positive feature of a healthy adolescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-392
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2002


  • computer games
  • adolescent
  • developmental psychology
  • child psychology


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