The U.S study produced by Craig A Anderson, psychology professor at Iowa State University , and director of its Center for the Study of Violence looked 364 children aged 9 to 12
In total, the longitudinal study included three sources, the U.S group plus two groups from Japan, one of 181 children between 12 and 15 years old, and the other of 1050 Japanese children between 13 and 18 years old.
The kids were assessed on how much they habitually played violent video games (though the definition of a 'violent' video game is not mentioned in the study), and how physically aggressive they had behaved in recent months.
All samples varied in time lag between two assessments of behaviour (3–6 months), measure of habitual video game violence exposure (HVGV), and measure of recent physical aggressiveness.
In the Japanese assessments, aggressiveness was a self-reported trait. The subjects were asked about the frequency of physically aggressive behaviours. In the US sample, the results were partly self assessed an also measured by teacher and peer reports.
Results of the study are tempered by the differences in samples, but report: “Despite the differences between samples in measures of HVGV, physical aggression, country, and age, each sample yielded statistically reliable positive correlations between time 1 HVGV and time 2 physical aggression of a magnitude that falls in the medium to large range for longitudinal predictors of physical aggression and violence “
Anderson is quick to point out however, this does not mean we are breeding a generation of axe murders. "A healthy, normal, nonviolent child or adolescent who has no other risk factors for high aggression or violence is not going to become a school shooter simply because they play five hours or 10 hours a week of these violent video games," he said. Extreme forms of violence, Anderson said, "almost always occur when there is a convergence of multiple risk factors."
It is not clear if any base-line was made about the children prior to there use of video games. One could argue that violent video games are simply an outlet for those with a predilection of those with violent leanings.
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