New Studies Link Video Game Use, Agression By Teens, Kids


Children and teenagers who play violent video games show increased physical aggression months afterward, says new research reported by the Washington Post that adds another layer of evidence to the continuing debate over the video-game habits of the youngest generation. The research, published today in the journal Pediatrics, brings together three longitudinal studies, one from the U.S. and two from Japan, examining the content of games, how often they are played and aggressive behaviors later in a school year. The U.S. research was the first here to look at the effects of violent video games over time, said lead author Craig Anderson, a psychology professor at Iowa State University and director of its Center for the Study of Violence.

Video games are popular in Japan and crime and aggression are less prevalent; some gamers cite that as evidence that violent games are not harmful. Yet the studies produced similar findings in both countries, Anderson said. “When you find consistent effects across two very different cultures, you’re looking at a pretty powerful phenomenon,” he said. “One can no longer claim this is somehow a uniquely American phenomenon. This is a general phenomenon that occurs across cultures.” The study in the U.S. showed an increased likelihood of getting into a fight at school or being identified by a teacher or peer as being physically aggressive five to six months later in the same school year. It focused on 364 children ages 9 to 12 in Minnesota and was first included in a 2007 book, “Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents.”


Comments are closed.