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Violent Video Games Can Make Your Kids Aggressive Over Time

Violent Video Games Can Make Your Kids Aggressive Over Time

Video games are one of the most popular forms of entertainment for young kids today. However, many parents are concerned that these extremely immersive video games, especially those that feature a lot of fighting, use of guns and other weapons, and violence in general, may affect the behaviour of children.
Since young kids are impressionable, the concern that playing violent video games may cause them to become aggressive in real life too is an understandable and valid concern. Even though experts agree that there is no single factor that causes a non-violent person to engage in aggressive behaviours, there is no denying that exposure to violent media is definitely a huge risk factor.

Especially during childhood, which is your formative years, the kind of content that young kids are exposed to could have a huge impact on your development. The good news is that this is something that parents can control. As parents, you have the authority to limit the kind of media content that your kids consume. It is important that you actively monitor what your kids are exposed to on a daily basis and choose only content that reflects your personal and family values.
Does research support this theory?

While the effect of violent video games on kids and its risk factor for aggressive behaviour is a valid theory, is there any research to back it up? In fact, there is. According to a study which was published in 2017, researchers at Dartmouth University, after examining as many as 24 studies conducted from 2010 to 2017, concluded that violent video games could contribute to increased aggressive behaviour among young kids aged 9 to 19 years old.

The researchers concluded that their findings support the claim that over time, young kids may exhibit aggressive behaviour if they are constantly exposed to violent video games. Moreover, research from the National Centre for Health Research shows that violent video games can desensitize people to aggressive behaviour and even lower their ability to empathize with others in the long term.

All these eventually contribute to a heightened risk of engaging in aggressive behaviour among young kids who regularly play violent video games. The risk is serious enough for the World Health Organization to add “gaming disorder” to its list of mental health issues. Its symptoms include loss of control over gaming habits, prioritizing video games over other activities, as well as continuing to play these games seeing clear negative consequences.