APA Report Links Higher Risk Of Physical Aggression To Video Game Players

First Posted: Aug 14, 2015 06:43 PM EDT

A new report from the American Psychological Association links violent video games to an increased risk of physical aggression.

The findings are based on a review of literature published between 2005 and 2013 focused on violent video game use, including four meta-analyses that reviewed over 150 research reports published before 2009. Task force members then conducted a systematic evidence review and a quantitative review of the literature published between 2009 and 2013.

"Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence," Mark Appelbaum, task force chair, said in a news release. "However, the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field."

Though previous studies have suggested that video games are linked to aggression, some studies, too, show that certain types of video games may help with self-control. A recent study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors found that playing the game Tetris helped lower cravings for food, sex, drugs and other activities like over-sleeping in some participants. The results included 170 articles, 31 of which met all of the most stringent screening criteria.

"While there is some variation among the individual studies, a strong and consistent general pattern has emerged from many years of research that provides confidence in our general conclusions," Appelbaum said. "As with most areas of science, the picture presented by this research is more complex than is usually included in news coverage and other information prepared for the general public."

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