What Makes Children Violent?

Is there really a link between video game playing and violence in children?  What about other factors that can also lead to violence?

In a 2011 landmark decision by the Supreme Court, it was ruled 7 to 2 that video games were protected under the First Amendment.   The decision also stated that existing research didn't conclusively prove that video games caused minors to act aggressively and that, at best, there was "some correlation between exposure to violent entertainment and minuscule real-world effects."   Still, the Court also ruled that the issue may need to be re-explored in future considering the changing nature of video game technology and content.

While child protection advocates were disappointed by the ruling, the debate over video games is far from over.   Research studies looking at video game violence have yielded conflicting results though studies supporting the video game-child violence link tend to get more publicity.   Perhaps more importantly, studies looking at video game violence often ignore other factors that may be more important, such as whether or not children witness violence in the home or school.  

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.



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