Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1041–1052

More Than Just Fun and Games: The Longitudinal Relationships Between Strategic Video Games, Self-Reported Problem Solving Skills, and Academic Grades

Empirical Research

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-013-9913-9

Cite this article as:
Adachi, P.J.C. & Willoughby, T. J Youth Adolescence (2013) 42: 1041. doi:10.1007/s10964-013-9913-9


Some researchers have proposed that video games possess good learning principles and may promote problem solving skills. Empirical research regarding this relationship, however, is limited. The goal of the presented study was to examine whether strategic video game play (i.e., role playing and strategy games) predicted self-reported problem solving skills among a sample of 1,492 adolescents (50.8 % female), over the four high school years. The results showed that more strategic video game play predicted higher self-reported problem solving skills over time than less strategic video game play. In addition, the results showed support for an indirect association between strategic video game play and academic grades, in that strategic video game play predicted higher self-reported problem solving skills, and, in turn, higher self-reported problem solving skills predicted higher academic grades. The novel findings that strategic video games promote self-reported problem solving skills and indirectly predict academic grades are important considering that millions of adolescents play video games every day.


Problem solvingAcademic performanceVideo gamesAdolescent development

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada