New study shows violent video games do not make teens more aggressive

February 13, 2019 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A pair of researchers with the University of Oxford and Cardiff University has conducted a study aimed at determining whether playing violent games cause young people to become more aggressive. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, Andrew Przybylski and Netta Weinstein describe their study that involved surveying approximately 1,000 teens and their parents in Great Britain and what they learned from them.

As video games have become more life-like and violent, people are questioning whether teenagers playing such games might become more aggressive. Some studies have been conducted, but thus far, but results to date are inconclusive. The researchers with this new effort suggest past efforts to study the impact of video games on teams excluded a critical factor—the opinions of the parents. To overcome that problem, the researchers surveyed approximately 1000 14- and 15-year-old adolescents of both genders and their parents.

The teens were asked questions surrounding play, such as how much they played, what kinds of games were involved, and the ratings of the games. They were also asked if they thought games made them more aggressive, particularly immediately after playing. The parents were asked similar questions regarding video game play by their child and perceived aggressive tendencies.

The researchers used multiple regression analysis on the as part of their study. They report that roughly two-thirds of the boys and half of the girls played video games. They also report that neither the teens nor their parents noticed any increase of aggressive behavior that could be tied to violent video games. They also found no change in antisocial behavior. They note that game playing did on occasion result in angry outbursts, sometimes by teens playing alone, and sometimes between two teens playing against one another (or by online participants)—but the researchers chalked it up to normal behavior that arises during competitive play.

The researchers conclude their analysis by reporting that they found no evidence linking increased aggression in teens with playing .

More information: Andrew K. Przybylski et al. Violent video game engagement is not associated with adolescents' aggressive behaviour: evidence from a registered report, Royal Society Open Science (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171474

Journal information: Royal Society Open Science

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