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Violent Video Games Don’t Predict Aggressive Behavior

Violent Video Games Don’t Predict Aggressive Behavior
New study takes issue with current thinking, points to depression instead

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From the December 17 2010 Health Day News item by Robert Preidt

FRIDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) — Exposure to violent video games or television shows is not a strong predictor of aggression or violence among youth, says a new study from Texas A&M International University.

Instead, it found that depression influences children and teens levels of aggression and violence.

The study’s dismissal of violent video games as a risk factor in aggression contrasts to some other recent findings, including an analysis of 130 studies on video games and violence released in March by researchers at Iowa State University and colleagues. That analysis concluded the evidence strongly suggests that playing violent video games increases aggressive thoughts and behaviors and reduces empathy….

After the researchers adjusted for such variables as exposure to domestic violence, bullying and depressive symptoms, they found exposure to violence in video games or television was not a strong predictor of aggressive behavior or rule-breaking, concluded investigator Dr. Christopher Ferguson, of Texas A&M International University.

However, depressive symptoms were a strong predictor for aggression and rule breaking and their influence was particularly strong in young people with preexisting antisocial personality disorders.

“Depressive symptoms stand out as particularly strong predictors of youth violence and aggression, and therefore current levels of depression may be a key variable of interest in the prevention of serious aggression in youth. The current study finds no evidence to support a long-term relationship between video game violence use and subsequent aggression. Even though the debate over violent video games and youth violence will continue, it must do so with restraint,” Ferguson wrote.

The study was published online in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.



December 21, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items, Public Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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