Violent Video Games Tied to Physical Aggression

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Playing violent video games is associated with subsequent increases in physical aggression.
Playing violent video games is associated with subsequent increases in physical aggression.

HealthDay News — Playing violent video games is associated with subsequent increases in physical aggression, according to research published online Oct. 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Anna T. Prescott, Ph.D., from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of prospective studies (2010 to 2017) that assessed the relationship between exposure to video game violence (VGV) and subsequent overt physical aggression. Analysis included 24 studies (multiple nationalities and ethnicities) with more than 17,000 participants (mean ages, 9 to 19 years) and time lags ranging from three months to four years.

The researchers found that VGV was related to aggression using both fixed- and random-effects models. There was no evidence of publication bias. In the fixed-effects models, ethnicity was a statistically significant moderator (P ≤ 0.011), but this finding was not observed in the random-effects models. The effect was largest among whites, intermediate among Asians, and non-significant among Hispanics.

"Based on our findings, we feel it is clear that violent video game play is associated with subsequent increases in physical aggression," a coauthor said in a statement.

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