Introduction: This study describes and compares the behavior of hyperactive and control children playing video games.
Subjects and methods: The sample consisted of 29 ADHD children and 21 controls aged between 6 and 16 years playing video games. We used the Child Behavior Checklist and the Problem Videogame Playing scale (PVP scale). This instrument gives objective measures of problem use, which can be considered as an indication of addictive videogame playing. We designed a questionnaire for the parents, eliciting qualitative information about their child's videogame playing. There were no significant differences concerning frequency or duration of play between ADHD children and controls but differences were observed on the PVP scale. None of the controls scored above four whereas 10 hyperactive children answered affirmatively to five or more questions. These children presented a greater intensity of the disorder than the other ADHD children.
Conclusion: While no differences concerning video game use were found, ADHD children exhibited more problems associated with videogame playing. It seems that a subgroup of ADHD children could be vulnerable to developing dependence upon video games.