A growing concern for parents – how much time should you allow your child to spend playing computer games or on social media sites?
According to a new study teenagers are less likely to achieve good GCSE grades if they play video games twice a day.
Research by the National Children’s Bureau Northern Ireland has found more than 41 per cent of children who do so achieved at least five A* to C grades.
That is compared with 77 per cent of youngsters who used them less than once a week.
The study was conducted in Northern Ireland and involved almost 1,000 14 to 16-year-olds.
It found than four in 10 spent four or more hours a day online during their GCSE year, with those who used a computer for three hours daily to complete homework obtaining the best GCSE results – with 79 per cent achieving A* to C grades.
Celine McStravick, director of the National Children’s Bureau in Northern Ireland said: “Young People are often so confident in their use of new technology that we can forget they need our support to establish good habits.
“Our research shows that using a computer for homework can help pupils consolidate learning and do better in exams, so schools should be regularly setting homework that requires the use of a computer and the internet.”
The bureau recommends that additional research is undertaken to establish why prolific gamers do less well at school.
Earlier this year a report by the NSPCC found that the amount of time youngsters spend glued to computer screens has grown dramatically.
In a survey of more than 2,000 UK parents, 35 per cent said they had come across online dangers, rising to 40 per cent amongst teens.
For information on online safety visit: www.nspcc.org.uk