A study recently published in the journal Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice argues that there may be a link between violent video games and aggressive juvenile behavior.
The study analyzed the video game playing behaviors of more than 200 young men and women involved in Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system. According to the report, inclinations towards more violent games, as well as frequency of playing video games in general, may be factors in both delinquent and violent behavior among young people.
According to the researchers of the report, the study is the first of its kind to measure the relationship between juveniles adjudicated with serious offenses and violent video game exposure.
“Violent video game playing is one of dozens or perhaps hundreds of risk factors that kids can have that is associated with delinquency and violence,” Radio Iowa quotes Iowa State University researcher Matt DeLisi. “What’s really compelling with the current study is that it withstands all of these other effects we know matter.”
Young people with preexisting psychopathological conditions, researchers say, may be much more susceptible to the “deleterious” effects of violent games, with DeLisi claiming that video games may have a generally detrimental effect on the sociability of teens and adolescents.
“If you have a kid who is antisocial, who is a little bit vulnerable to influence,” he is quoted by Radio Iowa, “giving them something that allows them to escape into themselves for a long period of time isn’t a healthy thing.”