We’ve got another leaflet of evidence on the already towering pile of research suggesting no link between video game violence and aggressive behavior. A ten year-long longitudinal study published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking has concluded that there is no connection between playing violent games and exhibiting violent tendencies in meatspace.
The study, titled Growing Up with Grand Theft Auto: A 10-Year Study of Longitudinal Growth of Violent Video Game Play in Adolescents, took a person-centered approach to its research as it tracked the behaviors of a group of children as young as ten all the way through to early adulthood, asking participating families to fill out questionnaires. Of the participants, 65% were Caucasian, 12% Black, 19% multi-ethnic, and 4% listed as other.
Results showed that boys played more violent video games than girls, while the test groups displayed three forms of video game play: high-initial violence (4%), which indicated individuals played a high-level of violent video games at an early age; moderate initial violence (23%), where violent video game play was moderate at an early age; and low initial violence (73%).
According to the results, aggressive behavior from the group that played low initial violence games “was no higher […] than the high initial violence group at the final time point.” In other words, adolescents who played extremely violent video games at an early age did not show more aggressive behavior later in life than those who played fewer to no hours of violent video games as children.