Linkages Between Internet and Other Media Violence With Seriously Violent Behavior by Youth

Internet Solutions for Kids, Santa Ana, California 92705, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 12/2008; 122(5):929-37. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-3377
Source: PubMed


The goal was to examine the association between violence in the media and the expression of seriously violent behavior among older children and teenagers in a national sample.
The Growing up with Media survey was a national, online survey of 1588 youths that was conducted in August and September 2006. Participants were 10- to 15-year-old youths who had used the Internet at least once in the past 6 months. The main outcome measure was self-reported seriously violent behavior, including (1) shooting or stabbing someone, (2) aggravated assault, (3) robbery, and (4) sexual assault.
Five percent of youths reported engaging in seriously violent behavior in the past 12 months. Thirty-eight percent reported exposure to violence online. Exposures to violence in the media, both online and off-line, were associated with significantly elevated odds for concurrently reporting seriously violent behavior. Compared with otherwise similar youths, those who indicated that many, most, or all of the Web sites they visited depicted real people engaged in violent behavior were significantly more likely to report seriously violent behavior. After adjustment for underlying differences in youth characteristics, respondents' alcohol use, propensity to respond to stimuli with anger, delinquent peers, parental monitoring, and exposures to violence in the community also were associated with significantly increased odds of concurrently reporting seriously violent behavior.
Exposure to violence in the media is associated with concurrent reports of seriously violent behavior across media (eg, games and music). Newer forms of violent media seem to be especially concerning.


Available from: Philip Leaf, Jun 30, 2015
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    • "For example, one study coauthored by Valkenburg (Fikkers, Piotrowski, Weeda, Vossen, & Valkenburg, 2013) found that, with proper controls in place, the relationship between violent media including games and aggression in children longitudinally was exactly zero (β = .00). Similarly, a study coauthored by Boxer found an effectively zero effect size (OR = 1.0) for violent video game use on youth violence once other variables were controlled (Ybarra et al., 2008). Thus, in many instances, the authors, in challenging the " Angry Birds " meta-analysis, ignore their own results. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article responds to five comments on my "Angry Birds" meta-analysis of video game influences on children (Ferguson, 2015, this issue). Given ongoing debates on video game influences, comments varied from the supportive to the self-proclaimed "angry," yet hopefully they and this response will contribute to constructive discussion as the field moves forward. In this reply, I address some misconceptions in the comments and present data that challenge the assumption that standardized regression coefficients are invariably unsuitable for meta-analysis or that bivariate correlations are invariably suitable for meta-analysis. The suitability of any data should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and data indicates that the coefficients included in the "Angry Birds" meta-analysis did not distort results. Study selection, effect size extraction, and interpretation improved upon problematic issues in other recent meta-analyses. Further evidence is also provided to support the contention that publication bias remains problematic in video game literature. Sources of acrimony among scholars are explored as are areas of agreement. Ultimately, debates will only be resolved through a commitment to newer, more rigorous methods and open science.
    Perspectives on Psychological Science 09/2015; 10(5):683-691. DOI:10.1177/1745691615593353 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    • "The Internet provides easy access to controversial and violent material. Visiting the “snuff” sites (portraying actual murders or deaths by people), for example, is considered a developmental risk [12]. Furthermore, various kinds of harmful or risky online communities, including pro-self-harm and pro-suicide websites, have proliferated [13-16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Peer groups identified through the Internet have played an important role in facilitating school shootings. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the adolescents who had expressed a school massacre threat online differed from those who had expressed one offline. Methods A nationwide explorative study was conducted on a group of 77 13- to 18-year-old adolescents sent for adolescent psychiatric evaluation between November 2007 and June 2009 by their general practitioners because they had threatened to carry out a school massacre. According to the referrals and medical files, 17 adolescents expressed the threat online and 60 did so offline. Results The adolescents who expressed their threats online were more likely to be bullied and depressed, had more often pronounced the threat with clear intention and had more often made preparations to carry out the act. In contrast, the adolescents who expressed their threats offline were more likely to have problems with impulse control and had showed delinquent behavior prior to the massacre threats. Conclusions The Finnish adolescents who expressed their massacre threats online could be considered a riskier group than the group who expressed the threats offline. Further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to elucidate this important topic.
    Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 12/2012; 6(1):39. DOI:10.1186/1753-2000-6-39
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    • "Most such studies have found that video game violence effects are reduced to non-significance once other social factors are controlled (e.g. Ferguson 2011; Ferguson et al., 2012; von Salisch et al. 2011; Wallenius and Punamäki 2008; Ybarra et al. 2008.) Unfortunately, despite the importance of controlling for genetic and evolutionary effects on aggression (Beaver et al. 2011), few studies are able to control for such variables. "
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    ABSTRACT: The United States Supreme Court's recent decision relating to violent video games revealed divisions within the scientific community about the potential for negative effects of such games as well as the need for more, higher quality research. Scholars also have debated the potential for violent games to have positive effects such as on visuospatial cognition or math ability. The current study sought to extend previous literature by using well-validated clinical outcome measures for relevant constructs, which have generally been lacking in past research. Cross-section data on aggression, visuospatial cognition, and math achievement were available for a sample of 333 (51.7 % female) mostly Hispanic youth (mean age = 12.76). Prospective 1-year data on aggression and school GPA were available for 143 (46.2 % female) of those youth. Results from both sets of analysis revealed that exposure to violent game had neither short-term nor long-term predictive influences on either positive or negative outcomes. A developmental analysis of the cross-sectional data revealed that results did not differ across age categories of older children, preadolescents or adolescents. Analysis of effect sizes largely ruled out Type II error as a possible explanation for null results. Suggestions for new directions in the field of video game research are proffered.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 08/2012; 42(1). DOI:10.1007/s10964-012-9803-6 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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