Use of violent video games during school years, quality of social relations and problems of aggressive behaviour

Luca Milani, Simona Carla Silvia Caravita, Elena Camisasca, Paola Di Blasio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Use of violent video games during school years, quality of social relations and problems of aggressive behaviour. Videogames are amongst Italian children’s favourite recreational activities and are regularly used by over 70% of children, preadolescents and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years old. The videogames available on the market are often characterised by violent content, and these are frequently children and young people’s favourites. The international literature has highlighted how the use of video games with violent content puts young people at risk of developing problems of aggressive behaviour. The research aims are to replicate in the Italian context the results mentioned in the international literature and to verify whether exposure to violent video games is linked to problems of aggressive behaviour. Four questionnaires (CBCL – Child Behavior Checklist; TRI – Test delle Relazioni Interpersonali; AFV – Aggressività Fisica e Verbale; CCSC – Children’s Coping Strategies Checklist) were administered to 574 children between 7 and 15 years of age (M = 11.86; SD = 1.11), attending primary or middle schools in the Province of Milan and Varese. Questionnaires measured the following variables: problems of internalisation and externalisation (CBCL), quality of interpersonal relationships (TRI), problems of physical and verbal aggression (AFV), and quality of coping strategies (CCSC). Results show that children and adolescents who prefer violent games show higher scores of externalisation, physical and verbal aggressiveness. Regression analyses show that the use of violent video games is a positive predictor of aggressive behaviour, while the overall quality of interpersonal relations is a negative predictor of aggressive behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages16
JournalGIORNALE DI PSICOLOGIA DELLO SVILUPPO
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Videogames

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