A recent report of a ten-year longitudinal study that focused on a group of individuals in early adolescence as young as ten, examined how playing violent video games at a young age would result in behavior in adulthood (23 years). According to the study’s findings, there is no correlation between growing up playing violent video games and increasing levels of aggression ten years later.
The study, titled “Growing with Grand Theft Auto: A 10-Year Study of Longitudinal Growth of Violent Video Game Play in Adolescents,” was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. A multitude of studies have previously examined the impact of violent video games on aggressive behavior. Longitudinal research is scarce, however, and existing studies have left little room for individual variability in the trajectories of violent video game gamers, the study found.
This particular study, according to the report, used a more contemporary approach to the analysis of its data, known as the person-centered approach. It is different from traditional studies, which use a variable-centric approach, where researchers treat each variable, or characteristic, as being related to another variable. According to the report, this approach was particularly useful for comparing groups.
In a person-centered approach, researchers combine various algorithms between variables to determine how these variables compare among individuals. This approach provides a more accurate representation of how the variables relate to the individual. Gamesage is one of the first websites to publish an article on the study.
According to this different approach, the study “accounts for heterogeneity, grouping together individuals who are similar and who share a set of characteristics that vary similarly over time.” The families participating in the study were recruited, through telephone directories, in “a large city in the northwest” of the United States from 2007 (wave 1) and were required to fill out questionnaires.
65% of the individuals interviewed were Caucasian, 12% black, 19% multiethnic and 4% other. Families of lower socioeconomic status were under-represented in the original sample group. They therefore had to be recruited through recommendations and prospectuses to complement and diversify the sample group, according to the study.
Participants were assessed based on various behavioral characteristics such as aggression, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and prosocial behavior. Common Sense Media, an American nonprofit organization specializing in the study of family and children’s media and technologies, undertook the assessment of ratings of violence in video games. According to the findings, boys played more violent video games than girls.
Three groups of gamers with different types of video games emerged during the survey: gamers with high initial violence (4%), indicating that individuals played high levels of violent video games at an early age; moderate initial violence (23%), indicating that some played a type of video game with a moderate level of violence at an early age; and the last category of individuals with low initial violence (73%) in their video games.
The study therefore concluded that the group with low initial violence “was not more aggressive than the group with high initial violence at the final moment” after 10 years. Therefore, the study found that adolescents who grew up playing video games with a high level of violence from an early age did not exhibit more aggressive behavior later in life than those who played less. hours, if any, of violent video games at an early age.