Parents’ and boys’ opinions on video game play (Kutner et al., 2008)

Now at, Cheryl K. Olson and colleague Lawrence A. Kutner, had a book that’s going to be published in April and a lot of the commentators seem so excited over news that support their beliefs about violent video game effects. Well, I’m not really excited, just interested to hear what she and her colleagues has to say about the violent media research. You can read some excerpts from their website at By the way, I commented that I read her papers, it turns out to be the wrong person, it was Sheryl L. Olson. Well, they sound similar, so it’s a normal and understandable mistake.


Public policy efforts to restrict children’s access to electronic games with violent or sexual content are often predicated on assumptions about parental concerns. As an initial step in determining whether those assumptions are accurate, the authors conduct focus groups of 21 adolescent boys and 21 of their parents or guardians to explore parents’ concerns, compare parents’ and children’s perceptions, and see whether these are consistent with the focus of proposed legislation and other public policy efforts. Parents’ primary concern is that games not interfere with their children’s schoolwork, social skills, and exercise. They worry about exposure to violent content, but definitions of and opinions about what is harmful vary and may not match proposed public policies.

Kutner, L. A., Olson, C. K., Warner, D. E., & Hertzog, S. M. (2008). Parents’ and sons’ perspectives on video game play: A qualitative study. Journal of Adolescent Research, 23(1), 76-96.


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