Computer Gaming Disorder and ADHD in Young Children—a Population-Based Study

  • Frank W. PaulusEmail author
  • Jenny Sinzig
  • Hannah Mayer
  • Monika Weber
  • Alexander von Gontard
Original Article


As new mass media has become a common activity already in nursery school, this study aimed to analyze computer game playing, addiction, and ADHD in a representative population-based sample of young children. Parents filled out a standardized questionnaire including items for ADHD, media use, and computer gaming disorder. The response rate was 83.2% (N = 1271). The mean age was 5.8 years (SD 0.38). Boys play computer games more often and longer than girls. In consequence, boys were rated more often to be at risk or to have a computer gaming disorder than girls. Children with elevated ADHD scores showed significantly higher computer gaming disorder scores. Clinically relevant inattention scores were associated with longer and more computer gaming. In a multiple regression analysis, problem game playing was best explained by a combination of frequency, gender, inattention, and hyperactivity-impulsivity score (p < .001; R 2  = .305).


Media use Computer gaming disorder Video gaming ADHD Young children 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank W. Paulus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jenny Sinzig
    • 1
  • Hannah Mayer
    • 1
  • Monika Weber
    • 2
  • Alexander von Gontard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySaarland University HospitalHomburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Community HealthSaarlouisGermany

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