Study says violent video games may boost aggressive behavior
The debate over the impact of violent video games continues. Now a study in Singapore, published in JAMA Pediatrics, suggests that children who play violent video games may experience an increased rate of aggressive thoughts, which can lead to more aggressive behavior.
In the study, children ages 8 to 17 who played a high amount of violent video games exhibited increased signs of violent behavior, such as hitting, shoving, and pushing, three years after the study began. On the other hand, children who decreased video game time showed decreased aggressive behavior.
The belief is these aggressive behaviors stemmed from an increase in aggressive thoughts. For example, someone bumping into them was more likely to be seen as a hostile act. One researcher said the reason may be because violent solutions are viewed as more reasonable.
However, other researchers not involved in the study point out its flaws. For example, the children were asked to rate the violence of the video games themselves. The study also fails to state the effect size, meaning to what degree did violent video games cause aggressive behavior.