Logo - springer
Slogan - springer

Psychology - Child & School Psychology | Journal of Youth and Adolescence - incl. option to publish open access (Press)

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

A Multidisciplinary Research Publication

Editor-in-Chief: Roger J.R. Levesque

ISSN: 0047-2891 (print version)
ISSN: 1573-6601 (electronic version)

Journal no. 10964

New York / Heidelberg, 26 August 2013

Video games do not make vulnerable teens more violent

Study finds no evidence that violent video games increase antisocial behavior in youths with pre-existing psychological conditions

10964
Do violent video games such as ‘Mortal Kombat,’ ‘Halo’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto’ trigger teenagers with symptoms of depression or attention deficit disorder to become aggressive bullies or delinquents? No, according to Christopher Ferguson of Stetson University and independent researcher Cheryl Olson from the US in a study published in Springer’s Journal of Youth and Adolescence. On the contrary, the researchers found that the playing of such games actually had a very slight calming effect on youths with attention deficit symptoms and helped to reduce their aggressive and bullying behavior.
Ferguson and Olson studied 377 American children, on average 13 years of age, from various ethnic groups who had clinically elevated attention deficit or depressive symptoms. The children were part of an existing large federally funded project that examines the effect of video game violence on youths.
The study is important in light of ongoing public debate as to whether or not violent video games fuel behavioral aggression and societal violence among youths, especially among those with pre-existing mental health problems. Societal violence includes behavior such as bullying, physical fighting, criminal assaults and even homicide. And the news media often draws a link from the playing of violent video games to the perpetrators of school shootings in the United States.
Ferguson and Olson’s findings do not support the popular belief that violent video games increase aggression in youth who have a predisposition to mental health problems. The researchers found no association between the playing of violent video games and subsequent increased delinquent criminality or bullying in children with either clinically elevated depressive or attention deficit symptoms. Their findings are in line with those of a recent Secret Service report in which the occurrence of more general forms of youth violence were linked with aggressiveness and stress rather than with video game violence. Interestingly, the researchers of the current study found a few instances in which video game violence actually had a slight cathartic effect on children with elevated attention deficit symptoms and helped to reduce their aggressive tendencies and bullying behavior.
Although Ferguson and Olson warned that their results could not be generalized to extreme cases such as mass homicides, they strongly advocate for a change in general perceptions about the influence of violent video games, even within the context of children with elevated mental health symptoms.
“We found no evidence that violent video games increase bullying or delinquent behavior among vulnerable youth with clinically elevated mental health symptoms,” Ferguson stressed. Regarding concerns about some young mass homicide perpetrators having played violent video games, Ferguson stated, “Statistically speaking it would actually be more unusual if a youth delinquent or shooter did not play violent video games, given that the majority of youth and young men play such games at least occasionally.”
Reference: Ferguson C.J, Olson C. (2013). Video game violence among ‘vulnerable’ populations: the impact of violent games on delinquency and bullying among children with clinically elevated depression or attention deficit symptoms, Journal of Youth and Adolescence. DOI 10.1007/s10964-013-9986-5
The full-text article is available to journalists on request.

Contact: 

 

Articles

For authors and editors


  • Journal Citation Reports®, Thomson Reuters
    2013 Impact Factor
  • 2.312
  • Aims and Scope

    Aims and Scope

    Close

    Journal of Youth and Adolescence provides a single, high-level medium of communication for psychologists, psychiatrists, biologists, criminologists, educators, and professionals in many other allied disciplines who address the subject of youth and adolescence. The journal publishes papers based on quantitative analyses, theoretical papers, and comprehensive review articles. The journal especially welcomes empirically rigorous papers that take policy implications seriously. Research need not have been designed to address policy needs, but manuscripts must address implications for the manner society formally (e.g., through laws, policies or regulations) or informally (e.g., through parents, peers, and social institutions) responds to the period of youth and adolescence.
  • Submit Online
  • Open Choice - Your Way to Open Access
  • Instructions for Authors

    Instructions for Authors

    Close

  • Author Academy: Training for Authors
  • Copyright information

    Copyright information

    Close

    Copyright Information

    For Authors

    Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before (except in form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review or thesis); that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as – tacitly or explicitly – by the responsible authorities at the institution where the work was carried out.

    Author warrants (i) that he/she is the sole owner or has been authorized by any additional copyright owner to assign the right, (ii) that the article does not infringe any third party rights and no license from or payments to a third party is required to publish the article and (iii) that the article has not been previously published or licensed. The author signs for and accepts responsibility for releasing this material on behalf of any and all co-authors. Transfer of copyright to Springer (respective to owner if other than Springer) becomes effective if and when a Copyright Transfer Statement is signed or transferred electronically by the corresponding author. After submission of the Copyright Transfer Statement signed by the corresponding author, changes of authorship or in the order of the authors listed will not be accepted by Springer.

    The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is assigned for good and valuable consideration to Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

    The copyright assignment includes without limitation the exclusive, assignable and sublicensable right, unlimited in time and territory, to reproduce, publish, distribute, transmit, make available and store the article, including abstracts thereof, in all forms of media of expression now known or developed in the future, including pre- and reprints, translations, photographic reproductions and microform. Springer may use the article in whole or in part in electronic form, such as use in databases or data networks for display, print or download to stationary or portable devices. This includes interactive and multimedia use and the right to alter the article to the extent necessary for such use.

    Authors may self-archive the Author's accepted manuscript of their articles on their own websites. Authors may also deposit this version of the article in any repository, provided it is only made publicly available 12 months after official publication or later. He/she may not use the publisher's version (the final article), which is posted on SpringerLink and other Springer websites, for the purpose of self-archiving or deposit. Furthermore, the Author may only post his/her version provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The final publication is available at link.springer.com".

    Prior versions of the article published on non-commercial pre-print servers like arXiv.org can remain on these servers and/or can be updated with Author's accepted version. The final published version (in pdf or html/xml format) cannot be used for this purpose. Acknowledgement needs to be given to the final publication and a link must be inserted to the published article on Springer's website, accompanied by the text "The final publication is available at link.springer.com". Author retains the right to use his/her article for his/her further scientific career by including the final published journal article in other publications such as dissertations and postdoctoral qualifications provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication.

    Author is requested to use the appropriate DOI for the article. Articles disseminated via link.springer.com are indexed, abstracted and referenced by many abstracting and information services, bibliographic networks, subscription agencies, library networks, and consortia.

    For Readers

    While the advice and information in this journal is believed to be true and accurate at the date of its publication, neither the authors, the editors, nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein.

    All articles published in this journal are protected by copyright, which covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article (e.g., as offprints), as well as all translation rights. No material published in this journal may be reproduced photographically or stored on microfilm, in electronic data bases, video disks, etc., without first obtaining written permission from the publisher (respective the copyright owner if other than Springer). The use of general descriptive names, trade names, trademarks, etc., in this publication, even if not specifically identified, does not imply that these names are not protected by the relevant laws and regulations.

    Springer has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's RightsLink service to offer a variety of options for reusing Springer content. For permission to reuse our content please locate the material that you wish to use on link.springer.com or on springerimages.com and click on the permissions link or go to copyright.com, then enter the title of the publication that you wish to use. For assistance in placing a permission request, Copyright Clearance Center can be connected directly via phone: +1-855-239-3415, fax: +1-978-646-8600, or e-mail: info@copyright.com.


    © Springer Science+Business Media New York

Alerts for this journal

 

Get the table of contents of every new issue published in Journal of Youth and Adolescence.