Regularly playing violent videogames could increase aggressiveness among teenagers, regardless of whether they are boys or girls, a new study has found.
The study, published in the journal Developmental Psychology, was conducted by researchers at Brock University in Canada who observed nearly 1,500 teenagers, between 14 and 15 years of age, from eight high schools in Ontario over a period of three years. Around 51 percent of the teenagers were girls and the remaining 49 percent were boys.
The researchers asked a number of questions, including how many times the participants had pushed or shoved people or whether they kick or punch people who make them angry. Based on the responses, the researchers assigned each teenager an aggressiveness score and then compared it with whether they played action or fighting videogames.
The researchers repeated the process every year of the study and also asked how frequently the teenagers played such videogames, ranging from never to four to five hours a day. The researchers found that the aggressiveness scores of those who regularly played such videogames increased every year during the study period.
"The current study is the first to demonstrate a relation between sustained violent video game play and the progression of aggressive behavior. It is clear that there is a long-term association between violent video games and aggression", lead researcher Professor Teena Willoughby said.