Video games don’t make vulnerable teens `more violent`
Washington: The existing notion that violent video games raise antisocial behaviour in youths with pre-existing psychological conditions is not true, a new study has claimed.
Christopher Ferguson of Stetson University and independent researcher Cheryl Olson from the US, found that the playing of such games actually had a very slight calming effect on youths with attention deficit symptoms and helped to reduce their aggressive and bullying behaviour.
They studied 377 American children, on average 13 years of age, from various ethnic groups who had clinically elevated attention deficit or depressive symptoms. The kids were part of an existing large federally funded project that examines the effect of video game violence on youths.
The study is important in light of ongoing public debate as to whether or not violent video games fuel behavioural aggression and societal violence among youths, especially among those with pre-existing mental health problems.
Societal violence includes behaviour such as bullying, physical fighting, criminal assaults and even homicide. And the news media often draws a link from the playing of violent video games to the perpetrators of school shootings in the United States.
The researchers found no association between the playing of violent video games and subsequent increased delinquent criminality or bullying in children with either clinically elevated depressive or attention deficit symptoms.
A study has been published in Springer’s Journal of Youth and Adolescence.