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A large amount of research has been done to create or understand a potential correlation between the playing of violent video games and the action of violence perpetrated by youth, especially within the school environment.

Video Games Don't Cause Violent Behavior

Through psychological and scientific studies, different aspects have been considered and there have been decisions to substantiate both sides of the issues, however, the majority of evidence that has been returned shows overwhelmingly that youth who participate in violent video games are no more or less likely to perpetrate violence within their school than youth who do not. The idea of a correlation between violence and video games comes from the idea that violent video games cause youth to feel less compassion for victims of violence.


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Parents and other concerned adults have long stated that youth who participate in violent video games are more likely to act out the violence that they see and participate in during real life situations because they have been desensitized, however, research has shown this is not the case. According to psychological studies, simply playing a violent video game does not have any long-term impact on the capacity for violence in the youth or on their ability to feel compassion for others. Video games are a method of play and fun for youth and allow them to spend time with friends and engage in make-believe situations and experiences that they would otherwise be incapable of enjoying.

The violent video games that youth are encouraged to play allow them to take on a different persona in much the same way as dress up games and make-believe with dolls or action figures. In this way, they are encouraged to try something new and to enhance skills in order to achieve an objective, thereby developing abilities that continue to help them outside of the game, such as dedication, follow through and attention to detail. Another important aspect of video games that can be beneficial for youth is the ability to improve thinking and thought processes in general.

Youth who engage in video games are required to solve complex problems, often under extreme pressure to beat the high scores of their friends or to avoid a negative aspect of the game. Because of this, it enhances the abilities of the youth to think critically and creatively in other aspects of their lives as well, leading to improvement in their cognitive abilities in school and even in the future workforce.

Video games are also considered to be a method of reducing stress levels and are used by a number of young people for just this reason. Whereas some adults or youth will engage in reading , listening to music or puzzles as ways to decrease their stress, anxiety or anger levels, other youth engage in video games as a way to calm down and relax. Because video games take them outside of their own world and problems as well as requiring attention and thought rather than simply being mindless entertainment, they allow the youth to overcome the negative thoughts and fears.

AP English Notes

Finally, video games have actually been found to improve the symptoms associated with several medical conditions that youth may have such as MS, autism, and even attention deficit disorder or dyslexia. Finally, our longitudinal design allowed us to simultaneously test for both gaming and selection effects; in the former, video game playing may precipitate psychosocial changes, whereas in the latter, children who already show psychosocial deficits may select video games as an outlet.

Thus, our longitudinal design also allowed us to investigate the tandem development of video game playing and psychosocial health. Given the lack of consensus in the research, no predictions were made for the influence of gaming on hyperactivity and inattention, or on prosocial behavior, although exploratory analyses were conducted. We also explored the potential relationships between violent video game content and both externalizing problems and prosocial behavior.

Finally, we also hypothesized that H5a cooperative gaming at the first time point would be associated with increases in prosocial behavior, whereas H5b competitive gaming at the first time point would be associated with decreases in prosocial behavior. Parents were contacted via letters sent to their homes and follow-up phone invitations. Ten participants from T1 declined to participate at T2. Additionally, data from ten parent reports were missing at T2 because their data was not properly saved by the recording software. With the exception of five parents, all parent reports were provided by the same parent at T1 and T2.

Argumentative Essay: Do Violent Video Games Cause Behavior Problems?

Among parents, education level was low for 6. Children provided self-reports during a face-to-face interview with an experimenter. Parents provided their survey responses via an online questionnaire. Families were rewarded a 20 and 30 Euro voucher check per child for their participation at T1 and T2 respectively. All sub-scales consist of five items with sum scores being calculated for each sub-scale. Children reported an average of 7. Game frequency was operationalized as child reports of hours gaming 2.

Final Thesis Research.docx

As psychosocial health was reported by parents, this means that our analyses were performed across reporters. This is preferred to analyses using only a single reporter as such analyses introduce a potential single source bias Burk and Laursen ; Lobel et al. Similar to the methods in Anderson and Dill and Prot et al.

At T2 , the most popular titles were more diverse with 46 children listing Minecraft , 21 listing a title from the Fifa franchise, and 18 listing Mario Party and Hay Day each. Violent gaming was computed as a dichotomous variable; children who listed a violent video game among their favorite games were assigned a 1, and those who did not were assigned a 0. Video games were classified as being violent when gameplay required players to harm other in-game characters.

Whereas third-party review boards provide information about whether a game contains violent content, the extent to which games are played cooperatively or competitively is not. Following Przybylski and Mishkin , cooperative and competitive gaming were therefore individually assessed by children with a single item using a Likert scale 5-point scale: Never to Every time or almost every time.

All analyses were performed in R R Core Team To investigate our hypotheses, three sets of structural path models were estimated with the lavaan package Rosseel In all models, full information maximum likelihood was used to account for missing values and the Hubert-White covariance adjustment MLR in lavaan was applied to standard errors in order to deal with the lack of normally distributed variables. In the first models, cross-lagged panel models were estimated to test H1-H4; that is, whether gaming at T1 would be associated with changes from T1 to T2 on H1 externalizing problems, H2 internalizing problems, H3 peer problems, and H4 overall psychosocial health.


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  • These models allowed us to simultaneously test the effects of gaming on psychosocial health, and for the reverse, a selection effect of psychosocial health at T1 influencing gaming frequency. These same models were used to explore the relationship between gaming and changes in attention problems and in prosocial behavior. We chose to segment out non-gamer children because our hypotheses specifically concern differences in gaming behavior; that is we intended to determine whether one pattern of gaming behavior could be beneficial or detrimental compared to other patterns of gaming behaviors.

    Therefore, for these children we explored 1 whether violent gaming was associated with changes in conduct problems and in prosocial behavior Fig. All models were saturated and therefore had zero degrees of freedom. Cross-lagged panel model testing the bidirectional associations between gaming frequency and psycho-social health.

    Essay about Violent Video Games and Increased Aggression | Cram

    Highlighted path reflects hypothesized path. Model testing the associations between gaming frequency, violent gaming, and psychosocial health. This model was run twice, each using a different SDQ subscale, once with the conduct problems subscale and once with the prosocial behavior subscale. Model testing the associations between cooperative and competitive gaming and changes in prosocial behavior.

    Gaming Gaming frequency in hours reported by children, Coop Cooperative gaming mean-centered , Comp competitive gaming mean-centered , Freq Frequency.

    Correlations between strengths and difficulties questionnaire and gaming measures at both timepoints. Note : SDQ Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, Intern internalizing problems, Extern externalizing problems, Hyper hyperactivity and inattention, Pros prosocial behavior, Freq frequency, Viol violent gaming, Coop cooperative gaming, Comp competitive gaming. Correlations were computed without controlling for gender. Correlations between control variables age, sex, and parental education and predictor and predicted variables.

    Regarding the SDQ, parents reported boys, compared to girls, at T1 and T2 as having more hyperactivity problems, less prosocial behavior, and more overall difficulties. Parents also reported boys as having more conduct problems at T2 than girls, but this was not observed at T1.

    According to parents and children, boys played video games more frequently than girls at both T1 and T2. Gender differences on the strengths and difficulties questionnaire at T1 and T2. Stability paths for these models ranged from 0. We next explored whether changes in conduct problems and in prosocial behavior would be associated with violent gaming among those children who played games at T1 see Fig.

    Finally, we simultaneously investigated whether changes in prosocial behavior would be H5a positively associated with cooperative gaming and H5b negatively associated with competitive gaming among those children who played games at T1 see Fig. To interpret this interaction, simple slopes analyses were conducted, and the regions of significance were identified using the Johnson-Neyman Technique Johnson and Fay ; Bauer and Curran 6.

    As marked by the vertical line in the figure, competitive gaming was therefore seen to negatively predict prosocial behavior at T2 only for those who played video games 0. Thus, hours gaming at T1 predicted less prosocial behavior at T2 only for those who both gamed more on average than their peers and who tended to play video games competitively. Interaction between competitive gaming and gaming frequency predicting changes in prosocial behavior. Values to the right of the vertical line represent cases where prosocial behavior differs across groups, and the vertical line marks children who reported playing 8.

    Despite the importance of this topic, few longitudinal studies have been conducted in this field. Moreover, while cooperative and competitive gaming have become a recent focus of attention, no studies have yet examined their potential influences while taking into consideration the naturalistic way they occur, that is, often in tandem. We also explored the potential relationship between gaming and changes in hyperactivity and inattention, and in prosocial behavior; no relationships were observed. Finally, while neither cooperative nor competitive gaming were associated with changes in prosocial behavior, frequent competitive gaming among children who played video games for approximately eight and a half hours or more per week was associated with declines in prosocial behavior.

    Thus, violent gaming had no influence in this study. This outcome aligns this study with a minority of published work showing no effect of violent gaming on anti- or pro-social behavior. This outcome may have also been influenced by our operationalizing violent gaming as a dichotomous variable. This method lumped together games that were low and high in violent content. Our procedure was motivated by the young age of our sample; we expected children to have difficulties rating the intensity and realism of gaming violence. Indeed, such ratings would likely have been either uninformative or a source of bias in our sample.

    This is because, of the games listed by children in our sample, just seven titles were rated by the Pan European Game Information board as being unsuitable for children below the age of The low prevalence of highly violent gaming in our sample may have therefore made it more difficult to observe an association between violent gaming and antisocial outcomes. On the other hand, the observed outcome may offer encouragement given that children who played games with age-appropriate levels of violence did not develop anti-social tendencies when compared to their peers who played non-violent games.

    One possibility for this shift is that violent content becomes increasingly of interest to children as they develop. Violent content could be an avenue for developing children to explore mature themes such as life-and-death. Another possibility is that because highly violent games are restricted to older audiences, these games may also be designed as more challenging and complex than many non-violent games.