The title of the article is "Addictive gaming more common with autism and ADHD" which would lead most readers to assume that if you have an autism spectrum disorder or ADHD, you are at a higher risk of addictive gaming. However, at the end of the article you have:
"The study, however, can't say autism spectrum disorders or ADHD cause children to play more video games or become addicted to them."
So within the article an assumption is presented that having an autism spectrum disorder or ADHD places you at a higher risk of gaming addiction, but you can't say autism or ADHD causes kids to play more or become addicted to video games. Confused yet? I am.
It seems this study was correlational in nature, meaning the statistical analysis focused on determining if there were any relationships among a number of variables. If this is the case, the findings should be considered with serious caution. A true experiment manipulates a variable and then measures for a change in outcome.
Even so, I have three issues with the study summary:
1) The autism spectrum is a very wide range from kids who are incredibly high functioning to kids who need help with basic daily living tasks (i.e., eating, self-care). I'm curious how they controlled for that in the study.
2) Kids with ADHD and/or an autism spectrum disorder can have major socialization issues meaning they may have a more difficult time making and maintaining friendships. It's possible these kids spend more hours playing video games because they are home alone instead of playing with a friend or at a social activity.
Also, do all participants attend school, are some home-schooled, maybe they attend an alternative school?
3) The home environment may have played a role in the amount of gaming. Are one or two parents present in the household? Do(es) the parent(s) work and how many hours per day? How many siblings are in the home?
In fairness, media outlets can't give all the details for the sake of brevity. However, taking highlights from studies and disseminating that information to readers is far too common. Just something to think about.
Have a good weekend and feel free to share via facebook, twitter, etc.