Saturday, August 1, 2009

Game Addiction in Children Doubles Over Three Years

Photo courtesy of Thairath

BANGKOK - Dr. Chathree Banchuen, president at the department of mental health, revealed alarming evidence showing that parents lack the ability to supervise their children, making them seven times more prone to game addiction. He further suggested that by simply talking, hugging, and playing with their children for forty minutes a day, parents could decrease the figure by half.

Mr. Manit Nopamonbodi, a deputy minister at the ministry of public health, stated today, the concern of severe gaming addiction among Thai children; especially in the case of dice-gambling games on mobile phones - which resemble Hi-Low, and other casino games.

Manit said he will be passing on the concern to the ministry of culture for further discussion of a solution.

A survey from the department of mental health found that over 9% of extreme game addiction cases were among children in elementary and early secondary school – with the figure doubling in the past three years.

The department of mental health has warned that if the government does nothing, addictions will become more adverse and more wide spread – as some children have already died playing games, as a result of malnutrition and exhaustion; others have imitated suicidal action games.

It is expected that the number of beggars will rise as children try to find means of feeding their habits and that suicide rates will climb when parents try to prevent them from playing games.

The ministry of public health has assigned the Ratchanakarin Institution of Children’s’ Mental Health and the Department of Mental Health to develop a course called, “Looking after children in the cyber age.” This is a one-day course which has been tested for over four years, and has been understood from surveys of parents, to be a very effective way of reducing game addiction by over 79%.

Results also show that these changes are directly related to changes in parental behavior. The course is also aimed at improving the self-esteem and attitudes of troubled children by over 91%.

Courtesy of Thairath

Writer: Adrian Tse & Chet Chetchotisak

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