Recent studies show that violent lyrics and video games can increase aggressive thoughts and feelings.
In one study published by the American Psychological Association, researchers found that aggressive and hostile lyrics do increase aggression related thoughts and feelings.
In a series of five experiments involving over 500 College students, researchers examined the effect of violent songs and nonviolent songs on students. Students who listened to these songs were given various psychological tests to measure aggressive thoughts and feelings.
What the researchers discovered were:
a) violent songs led to more aggressive interpretations of ambiguously aggressive words;
b) violent songs increased feelings of hostility without provocation or threat;
c) even humorous violent songs increased aggressive thoughts.
Researchers speculated that aggressive thoughts can influence perception of social situations, perhaps even coloring ordinaryevents with an aggressive tint. Repeated exposure to violent lyrics may contribute to aggressive personality and behavior.
In another study conducted by father and son team J. Ronald Gentile and Douglas Gentile,both top researchers on the effects of media on children, they found that violent video games were highly effective teachers of aggression.
Their research found that
a) the amount of rated violence in the games played predicted increased aggression;
b) among elementary students, playing multiple violent video games increased their risk of being highly aggressive by at least 73 percent;
c) because video games were such exemplary "teachers," they could be used more effectively in a non-violent educational arena.
Another study involving young adults shows that playing video games is linked to poor relationships with family and friends.
Statistical analyses also show that the more young people play video games, the more likely their involvement with drinking and drug abuse.
In fact, young people who play video games daily were three times more likely to smoke pot than young people who never play.
For young women, the amount of time spent on playing video games is correlated to low self-esteem. The more they played video games, the lower their sense of self-worth.
However, young women who play video games regularly remain a small number, just 17 percent compared to 75 percent of young men who do.
As parents, we should be more vigilant about the leisure habits of our children. Understanding the link between violent lyrics and video games with aggression can help us guide our young people towards making more responsible personal choices.
Moreover, the gaming industry is also making headway with the development of beneficial video games. Yes! These are games that are actually good for you and your children.
Some of these games like Bejeweled is good for your brain and your heart.
Others are prosocial games, that is, they teach your child how to settle disputes, the nuts and bolts of conflict resolution.
We, as parents, have choices in what we encourage our children to consume for entertainment.Video Games and Violence: What Every Parent Should Know