If your teenager plays violent video games he or she is more likely to be aggressive, new research proposes.
Researchers from Brock University in Canada found a clear link between continuous playing of violent video games and aggression and hostile behavior.
The study observed nearly 1,500 adolescents at eight high schools in Ontario. Researchers conducted surveys annually across four school years with students between the ages of 14 or 15 prior to the study and 17 or 18 following the study.
Researchers asked teens a series of questions such as how often they played video games, varying from never to five or more hours per day and whether they played action or fighting games. Teens were also asked how often they pushed or shoved people and whether they frequently pushed or shoved people who upset them.
The last two years of the study, researchers asked the questions again.
It was observed that teenagers who played violent video games over a course of years were more likely to be more aggressive compared to their counterparts. Girls who played violent computer games during the school year were also likely to be as affected as boys.
The results also revealed that teens who play violent video games react violently to unintentional aggravations such as someone accidently bumping into them.
According to lead researcher Professor Teena Willoughby, the study is the first to display a correlation between continuous violent video game play and the progression of aggression among teens.
"It is clear that there is a long-term association between violent video games and aggression. This is an important and concerning finding, particularly in light of the hours that youth spend playing these games," she told Daily Mail.
Professor Mark Griffiths, director of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, believes further research is needed to determine whether violent content or fast-paced action and competition may be additional factors.
The study was published in the Developmental Psychology.