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New studies dismiss link between video games and youth crime


Games are not related to youth violence, new series of studies says

Posted on Jan 3, 2012 - 3:50pm EST (Jan 3, 2012 15:50)

A host of respected researchers and government authorities, including the U.S. Supreme Court, examined claims of a causal link between violent video game content and real-life violence and determined that existing research provides no evidence to support this argument, ESA has reported.

Now, two new studies by U.S. and international researchers confirmed no causal link between violent video games and real-life aggression and violence. Last month, Professor Christopher Ferguson and several of his Texas A&M International University colleagues published a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research finding no long-term link between violent video games and youth aggression or dating violence.

The study involved a sample of 165 youth between the ages of 10 and 14 who were tested three separate times over a three-year period. Ferguson's team used a series of measurement tools to assess participants' violent video game exposure as well as antisocial personality traits, family attachment and delinquent peers; exposure to domestic violence; depression and mental health; and instances of dating violence. When controlling for these behavioral and environmental factors, the researchers affirmed that exposure to video game violence was not related to youth aggression, and that depression, antisocial personality traits, family violence and peer influences were in fact the best predictors of aggression.

In addition, the Swedish Media Council determined in December, following its review and analysis of more than 100 scholarly articles published in international journals in the last 11 years, that there is no conclusive evidence proving that violent video games cause aggressive behavior. The report also noted that while a majority of these studies found a correlation between games and aggression, they also suffered from significant methodological shortcomings that called their results into question. These flaws included only assessing study participants' game playing and aggressive behavior at a single point in time, and measuring aggression not through their physical actions but through their aggressive thoughts, attitudes and feelings, which the report described as vague and not linked to actual violence.


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