American Morning

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January 17th, 2011
10:11 AM ET

Video game addiction linked to mental health issues, new study says

A new study to be released in the February issue of Pediatrics conducted by Developmental Psychologist Dr. Douglas Gentile links video game addiction with mental health issues. The study looked at 3-thousand 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th grade children and determined that 9 percent had "pathological gaming" problems. Such problems, the study found, were linked to certain mental health issues including depression, anxiety and poor grades.

So, who's at risk? The results of the study show that children who are more socially awkward, with a high tendency toward impulsive behavior and who play a greater amount of video games were more at risk of becoming addicted to video games. And, those who were addicted were more likely to develop issues such as depression, anxiety and poor grades. Critics of  Dr. Gentile's study  say it was poorly designed, citing flawed methodology.

This study comes in the wake of the tragedy in Tucson, where alleged gunman Jared Loughner gunned down Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and bystanders at Giffords' constituent event, killing six. Loughner is said to have posted violent and disturbing comments on internet gaming sites. CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen talks to Kiran Chetry about the new study's findings.


Filed under: Health • Mental Health
January 12th, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Detecting and treating the warning signs of mental illness

On May 25, 2007 31-year-old police officer Jason West was responding to the report of a large fight on Altamont Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. When he arrived at the scene, one of the young men, Timothy Halton Jr., fired multiple shots at West before attempting to shed his clothes and flee the scene.

Timothy Halton Jr., then 29 years old, is now serving a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Jason West that day.

And similar to the story we hearing this week with the case of Jared Loughner and the shooting in Tucson, Arizona...the warning signs were there. Halton had a prior convictions. He was convicted of assaulting a police officer. He had displayed violent behavior in the past, convicted on domestic violence charge. But he was also mentally ill, suffering as a paranoid schizophrenic. If Halton had been accurately diagnosed and comprehensively treated from the beginning, could a tragedy have been prevented?

Jeannette Halton-Tiggs is the mother of Timothy Halton Jr. and Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is the chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. They talk to Alina Cho.


Filed under: Crime • Health • Mental Health