Longitudinal examination of adolescents and violent videogames on dating violence (Ferguson et al., 2012)

It is nearly Valentine ’s Day and people are off on their annual ritual of reasserting their eternal love to their one true love. The bright side of a romantic relationship is fine and dandy, but I could not find anything scholarly and recent between videogames and interpersonal romance aside for some quite interesting stories of people celebrating Valentine’s Day with their virtual loved ones. The other side of romance is dating violence and February is the National Teen Dating Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. The closest piece of knowledge regarding dating violence and videogames is from Christopher J. Ferguson and colleagues (Texas A & M University), which is published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Abstract

Background: In 2011 the field of video game violence experienced serious reversals with repudiations of the current research by the US Supreme Court and the Australian Government as non-compelling and fundamentally flawed. Scholars too have been calling for higher quality research on this issue. The current study seeks to answer this call by providing longitudinal data on youth aggression and dating violence as potential consequences of violent video game exposure using well-validated clinical outcome measures and controlling for other relevant predictors of youth aggression.

Method: A sample of 165, mainly Hispanic youth, were tested at 3 intervals, an initial interview, and 1- year and 3-year intervals.

Results: Results indicated that exposure to video game violence was not related to any of the negative outcomes. Depression, antisocial personality traits, exposure to family violence and peer influences were the best predictors of aggression-related outcomes.

Interpretation: The current study supports a growing body of evidence pointing away from video game violence use as a predictor of youth aggression. Public policy efforts, including funding, would best be served by redirecting them toward other prevention programs for youth violence.

The Jennifer Ann’s group is a great resource on dating violence including videogames helping you to identify signs of dating abuse. Continue reading

Playing prosocial videogames decreases schadenfreude (Greitemeyer et al., 2010)

I originally started this post months ago, but it got buried under a lot of work and grading. Now that the winter quarter ended and weirdly enough, I found this study and recent events to have some relations. So bear in mind, my thoughts seem fragmented since they were written over several weeks.

An internet example of schadenfreude

Of the 8 videogame studies that Tobias Greitemeyer (University of Innsbruck) had published, this is what I ended up posting about: an experiment demonstrating prosocial videogames can decrease schadenfreude. His studies deserve posting and yet I never got around until a curious construct shows in the title. This study was published in the December issue of Emotion, although the email alert was just after new year’s day. As for the image, there’s a tumblr site: Ignorant and Online that documents postings.

Abstract

Past research provided abundant evidence that exposure to violent video games increases aggressive tendencies and decreases prosocial tendencies. In contrast, research on the effects of exposure to prosocial video games has been relatively sparse. The present research found support for the hypothesis that exposure to prosocial video games is positively related to prosocial affect and negatively related to antisocial affect. More specifically, two studies revealed that playing a prosocial (relative to a neutral) video game increased interpersonal empathy and decreased reported pleasure at another’s misfortune (i.e., schadenfreude). These results lend further credence to the predictive validity of the General Learning Model (Buckley & Anderson, 2006) for the effects of media exposure on social tendencies.

One of the most difficult aspects of grad life is self-discipline. There are so many things to do, and a single distraction can derail any carefully laid schedule. Continue reading

Two year longitudinal study of videogame addiction among Singaporean youths (Gentile et al., 2011)

News erupted when the ESA [1][2][3][4][5] sent out a warning about Douglas Gentile (Iowa State University) and colleagues’ latest Pediatrics article, now available if you google around, on their videogame addiction longitudinal study in Singapore. As of this writing, I can’t find that press release that everyone has been talking about. Statements were posted on various blogs and their criticisms were just odd, their attacks on Gentile et al.’s methodologies, such as saying “that the definition of ‘pathological gaming’ is neither scientifically nor medically accepted and the type of measure used has been criticized by other scholars.” What a strong statement in framing the video game addiction research. However, I find their criticisms lacking in substance.

Abstract

Objectives: We aimed to measure the prevalence and length of the problem of pathological video gaming or Internet use, to identify risk and protective factors, to determine whether pathological gaming is a primary or secondary problem, and to identify outcomes for individuals who become or stop being pathological gamers.

Methods: A 2-year, longitudinal, panel study was performed with a general elementary and secondary school population in Singapore, including 3034 children in grades 3 (N = 743), 4 (N = 711), 7 (N = 916), and 8 (N = 664). Several hypothesized risk and protective factors for developing or overcoming pathological gaming were measured, including weekly amount of game play, impulsivity, social competence, depression, social phobia, anxiety, and school performance.

Results: The prevalence of pathological gaming was similar to that in other countries (9%). Greater amounts of gaming, lower social competence, and greater impulsivity seemed to act as risk factors for becoming pathological gamers, whereas depression, anxiety, social phobias, and lower school performance seemed to act as outcomes of pathological gaming.

Conclusion: This study adds important information to the discussion about whether video game “addiction” is similar to other addictive behaviors, demonstrating that it can last for years and is not solely a symptom of comorbid disorders.

Mercifully, the article is a short 8 page read and I’ll forgo my usual summarization since this post is a rush job. Disclaimer: I’m a graduate student who has a lot of breadth, but lacks significant depth on any particular line of videogame research. The opinions expressed do not carry any weight, but the arguments do. Continue reading

Much ado about details: violent video game effects in Eastern and Western nations and the back and forth comments

Kana Minami (Minami-ke) is having a hard time with three pots of curry.

Anderson and company have published a meta-analytical study in the March 2010 issue of Psychological Bulletin. Naturally, people and experts started throwing comments and rage here and about. What I didn’t realize is that single study has three accompanying academic commentaries and I am struggling what to do with them. Gamepolitics picked the news from a post on the Washington Post. University press release here.

Abstract (Anderson)

Abstract (Ferguson)

Abstrac (Bushman)

I knew the studies’ existence for about a month, but I was hampered by daytime naps and coma-induced readings. Continue reading