Time spent on computers isn't bad for pre-teens, study finds

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by KRISTEN DAHLGREN / NBC

KING5.com

Posted on September 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

If you think your kids are wasting their time and withering their brains by playing on the computer, you may be mistaken.

A new study from the University of Maryland shows those hours on the computer may actually have a positive effect on the pre-teen brain.

The study looked at pre-teens and in many cases linked hours at the computer with an increase in test scores.

African-American boys saw the biggest jump with more access to home computers than ever before.

Their reading scores were up four points.

Girls scores also increased, and the study found white girls saw better social interaction the more they played on the computer.

The only group who didn't see improvement was white boys, with a slight decrease in test scores and increase in violent tendencies.

"As they get older there is more concern possibly about the more aggressive games, but that would be more on the video consoles rather than on the computer," explains researcher Professor Sandra Hofferth.

Not all games are created equal and there can be too much of a good thing, but it seems in the right combination, child's play may help kids win in the classroom.

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