Reuters reports that among young college students, the frequency and type of video games played appears to parallel risky drug and alcohol use, poorer personal relationships, and low levels of self-esteem, according to new research. "This does not mean that every person who plays video games has low self-worth, or that playing video games will lead to drug use," said Laura M. Padilla-Walker, an associate professor at the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. Rather, these findings simply indicate video gaming may cluster with a number of negative outcomes, "at least for some segment of the population." Padilla-Walker and her colleagues examined the frequency and type of video game and internet use reported by 500 female and 313 male undergraduate college students in the United States during the last 12 months. The students, who were 20 years old on average, also recounted their drug and alcohol use, perceptions of self-worth, and the quality of their relationships with friends and family. The findings, reported in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, showed "stark gender differences in video game and internet use," Padilla-Walker said. Young men reported video gaming three times as often as young women, and they reported playing violent video games nearly eight times as often. Young men also were more likely to use the internet for entertainment, daily headline news, and pornography, while young women more often used the internet for eMail and schoolwork. But regardless of gender, clear correlations were seen between frequent gaming, more frequent alcohol and drug use, and lower-quality personal relationships…

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