For Science: Another longitudinal study demonstrates no link between video games and aggression


Back in July, we covered a Stetson University paper for a study that examined over 3000 Singaporean primary and secondary school students over the course of two years to determine whether there were any links between aggressive game play and aggressive outcomes. There weren’t. It’s one of a growing number of longitudinal studies academics have offered up in the last few years to counter the popular but scientifically unfounded narrative that video games provoke violent behavior.

Now, one of the authors of that study, Chris Ferguson, has published another similar paper, this one based on data collected by Zhaojun Teng as part of a study of a large cohort (1340) of Chinese kids over the course of a year. The result – that exposure to aggressive video games do not appear to be “a risk factor for future aggression in youth” – shouldn’t be a surprise at this point.

“Although AVG exposure was not a risk factor for youth aggression, prior aggressivenessand moral disengagement were. Aggressiveness proved to be a stable trait across the 1-yeartime frame of the study. Indeed, only when T1 agg ressiveness was removed from theregression equation were AVGs a predictor for youth aggression. This suggests there maybe a selection effect at play wherein youth with preexisting aggressiveness may be moreinclined to play AVGs. Nonetheless, even with the T1 aggressiveness variable removed, theeffect size for AVGs as a predictor for later aggressiveness was below the threshold somescholars use for meaningful interpretation of practical effects [13]. Thus, the most cautiousinterpretation is that AVGs should not be considered as a risk factor for later youth aggression.”

Further reading:

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