Do violent games cause aggression in teenagers?



Do violent games cause aggression in teenagers?

Gaming, racing, and high risk on screen behaviors could be adversely affecting your teenagers behavior in real world situations.

In studies examining the influence of violent and risk taking game play in young people aged 9 to 19; Researchers from the department of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College have found that playing such games significantly increases aggressive and unpleasant behaviors in the real world.

Moreover research indicates that self reported violence, violence reported by parent, teachers and medical professional was seen to be even greater in Caucasian and Asian populations.

Parents often ask us whether gaming is addictive? Fiona, from our clinical team answers; ‘in the young people that we work with; preoccupation with electronic devises including games of a violent, sexual or high risk nature are prevalent’. Fiona adds, ‘these same young people maybe predisposed to increased levels of anti social behaviors or deviance’. The recent research seems to further support previous research indicating the dangers of violent game play leading to gaming addiction.

How do I know if my teenager is addicted to gaming?

If you notice any of the following, it would be useful to contact the clinical team at The Wave Youth Clinic or your mental health professional for advice.

  • Preoccupation with games/electronics
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not permitted to use devices
  • Narrowing of other ‘real world’ interests
  • Increased moodiness
  • Increased isolation
  • Irritability
  • Disturbed sleep/wake pattern – perhaps gaming during rest/sleep hours
  • Absent from school or work
  • Increased violence or damage
  • Narrowing of friendship circles
  • Increase in ‘online’ friendships

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Fiona - The Wave Clinic

Fiona Yassin is the founder and clinical director at The Wave Clinic. She is a U.K. and International registered Psychotherapist and Accredited Clinical Supervisor (U.K. and UNCG).

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