Violent Video Games and Their Relation to Aggressive Behaviour in Late Childhood in Pakistan

Violent Video Games and Their Relation to Aggressive Behaviour in Late Childhood in Pakistan

Mujeeba Ashraf (Institute of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJCBPL.2020070104

Abstract

Most of the European and American literature suggests that playing violent video games can increase aggression in real-life situations in children, but the extent to which this is true in Pakistan is largely unknown. This is a correlational study that explored whether the amount of time spent playing violent themed video games was associated with aggressive behaviour and whether playing different kinds of violent themed video games could predict aggressive behaviour in late childhood. The sample of 100 children (mean age 13.37) was taken, and children were asked to fill in a diary when they played videogames for a week. The results revealed the time spent playing violent video games (role play, action and fighting, and first-person shooter) was positively correlated with aggression; however, only role play and first-person shooter video games were positive predictors of aggressive behaviour. Current research suggests that if children spend more than 30 minutes a day playing violent video games, their chances of learning aggressive behaviour may increase.
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Introduction

Considerable research has explained that playing violent video games can increase aggressive behaviour in children and adolcents(Anderson et al 2010). For studying the association between playing violent video games and aggressive behaviour in children, Bandura’s social learning theory has received support from researchers (Paik & Comstock, 1994; Wilson et al, 1997). Bandura and colleagues conducted an experiment in 1961 with 73 preschool children and suggested that children learn behaviour by observing models. Children who observed a man kicking, hitting and pulling a Bobo doll exhibited more aggressive behaviour towards the Bobo doll in comparison to those children who had not observed that aggressive behaviour. They replicated the findings in 1963 and proposed limiting children’s exposure to violent media content (Bandura, 1973, 1986). Since then this debate has continued in academia (Konijn et al., 2007). Children are often involved in playing games (outdoors and indoors) but due to the shift in trends towards playing video games, especially fighting video games, the chances of learning aggressive behaviour have increased (Krish, 2002). Therefore, presumably, if children play violent themed video games they may exhibit aggressive behaviour in real-life situations.

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