New Study: Violent Games Not To Blame For Youth Aggression

In the wake of the SCAG meeting, and disappointing delays, it's probably worth mentioning that, in addition to the official Literature Review, another new study by Christopher J Ferguson has shown that both violent video games and violent television shows have no effect on youth aggression.

In a study conducted by Christopher J. Ferguson, who we interviewed earlier this month, over 300 Hispanic youth aged 10-14 took part, looking at their exposure to violent media, negative family events, family interaction, peer groups, and relationships with adults - among other factors.

The study showed that 75% of young people were exposed to gaming, and 40% played games with violent content. Ferguson found, however, that depressive symptoms were the strongest predictor of youth aggression, and that was compounded if the teenager had any antisocial personality traits.

There was no link between violent video games and youth aggression.

“Depressive symptoms stand out as particularly strong predictors of youth violence and aggression," stated Ferguson, "and therefore current levels of depression may be a key variable of interest in the prevention of serious aggression in youth. The current study finds no evidence to support a long-term relationship between video game violence use and subsequent aggression. Even though the debate over violent video games and youth violence will continue, it must do so with restraint.”

'Restraint' is the key word here. The fact that opponents continually make a case against R18+ games on the basis of video game interactivity being a predictor of violent behaviour, in the face of continual evidence against that fact, is staggering - and representative of the level of ignorance surrounding the debate.

Christopher J Ferguson's previous work has referred to the moral panic, and the cycle of media hype and political point scoring surrounding new media like gaming. The continual discourse surrounding violent video games is a perfect example of that cycle in action. Hopefully this study, and other like it, can continue to debunk the myths and misinformation surrounding the R18+ debate.

The study has been published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, which can be found here.


    Derrrrr this must have been funded by the game industry! Durr Durr Durka Durr.

      Of course! It tells the people against R18+ ratings that they are wrong, therefore it MUST have been promoted by the gaming industry who wants the world to descend into chaos and destroy society!

      (The worst part is that there are probably some anti-R18+ people who actually believe that this sort of thing is funed by videogame industries.)

        I hear that.

        I honestly don't know what these people are afraid of, I think it's more that once a group has thrown their support behind one side of an argument they'd rather descend into irrationality than admit they got it wrong in the first place.

        So very childish, throw on top of that fanatical level religion (not picking on you lovely moderates we love you) in which you have to believe ridiculous shit without any evidence and you get a group of people that are willing to believe in just about anything provided they close their eyes and wish really hard that it's true.

    What I've been saying all along; Duh!

    Violence comes from within, not externally - it's a choice! And we humans were plenty violent before video games existed.

    Of course its not violent video games, its violent movies and rock and roll that causes violence :)

      dont forget comic books and radio

        And fiction novels.

    This is old news, I knew that long ago lol.

    All this does, is again tells us what we've alreayd known for a very long time now. What this won't do, is steer the ACL away from preaching Craig Anderson's study, nor will it stop the Attorneys General from fence sitting on the matter.

    This changes nothing.

    Call me stupid but this does not phase me.

    My only real concern is on the R18+ rating for australia.

    but i did enjoy reading this and thinking
    "lol take the people who say video games are the main cause for aggression in youth"

    Why was it only Hispanics in the study?

      Usually it just reflects the population near the research center where the research was done. In this case in South Texas, USA. Hence Hispanics. Most studies are Caucasian majority and no one even notices!

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