Relationships between video game play and creativity among elementary school students
Hamlen, Karla R.
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With increasing numbers of children having access to video games and spending more time playing them, it is important to examine how this relates to other areas of their lives. This study was an investigation of the relationships between time spent playing video games and creativity among upper elementary school children. 118 fourth and fifth grade children from four schools in Western New York participated in this study. Student and parent reports of children's time spent playing video games and student reports regarding the types of games played were used to measure video game play; both the figural and verbal subtests of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking were used to measure creativity. Results of this study reveal some general patterns in children's video game play. Among all participants, mean game playing time during a typical week with school was 3.6 hours per week, and almost twice that during a typical week when school is not in session. In general, boys play video games more frequently than girls do, and video game play increases from grades 4 to 5 among boys, but not among girls (p<.05). There was no relationship found between time spent playing video games and creativity [ F (6,96) = 1.2, p >.05]. Further, the use of particular skills in video games is not related to differences in creativity, and the relationship between video game play and creativity is the same for children who play with peers as it is for children who play alone or with an adult. This study provided evidence that, in general, playing video games is making children neither more nor less creative.