Boys Who Don't Play Video Games At Greater Risk: Harvard Psychologists

Boys Who Don't Play Video Games At Greater Risk: Harvard Psychologists

Boys who play no video games are at greatest risk for getting into trouble, according to a new book by two Harvard psychologists.

Lawrence Kutner, Ph.D. and Cheryl K. Olson, Sc.D. co-founders and directors of the Center for Mental Health and Media and members of the psychiatry faculty at Harvard Medical School, have authored a book titled Grand Theft Childhood, aimed at debunking common media and pundit chatter bemoaning a supposed link between violence and video games.

The pair have conducted a survey of 1250 kids and 500 parents to look at whether video games and teen violence are really connected.

In a recent interview, the two specialists said there was "absolutely no evidence" for a link between video games and teen crime, as in the past twenty years, the former has been on the rise and the latter on the decline.

They also said studies showing links between violence and playing violent video games required "a leap of faith," because they examine only short-term reactions and involve behavior that doesn't look like real-word aggression. Kutner pointed out that teens may also be aggressive after walking out of an action flick in a cinema, but that this was fleeting and elicited no uproar as with video games.

The authors also pointed to their most striking finding: while boys and girls who played exclusively M-rated games 15 hours a week were at significantly greater risk for getting into trouble than the average child, boys who played no video games were also at equally greater risk.

Kutner pointed out that the Virginia Tech killer, for instance, never played video games during college. "Playing video games, for boys, is a marker of social competence," he said.

Source: Kotaku.com

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I'm loathe to do this but...

1250 kids and 500 parents? Doesn't seem to add up does it?

And there is the fact that whilst kids are playing games, they can't really be commiting crimes. Those gameless teens have to do SOMEthing and if they can't keep up with peer pressure, then they're gonna have to break out. Same thing with collecting Panini football stickers decades ago.

I just emailed a link to this to my mom. It's about time I had something to counter her "studies" with.

The_root_of_all_evil:
I'm loathe to do this but...

1250 kids and 500 parents? Doesn't seem to add up does it?

How so?
it works out at 2.5 kids per adult, assuming they only interviewed one parent from each family that sounds about normal.
Even if they interviewed both parents in every family and they were all still together it works out at 5 per pair of adults.
This doesn't sound too far fetched either, given that its middle America (sorry... extremely cheap shot...).

Or it could be that they surveyed kids and they surveyed parents from a different family about their kids as in the parents weren't connected to the kids.

It's nice to have a university study to try and counteract the ignorance towards video games, but since the reaction against video games really isn't about video games (more about politics and excuses for poor parenting -- rock n' roll is the devil!), I wonder what the next societal scapegoat will be? What will my generation (or the next) label as "detrimental to our youth?"

I hope it has something to do with plugging your brain into a computer. That would be cool. ;-)

Really, it seems alright to me (I'm not really in the know-how of these studies, so, for the most part, I don't pay attention to them). But, it's nice to see that there's some evidence to counter all those claims made by Thompson and the like.

- A procrastinator

Thompson's view

boys and girls who played exclusively M-rated games 15 hours a week were at significantly greater risk for getting into trouble than the average child

"The authors also pointed to their most striking finding: while boys and girls who played exclusively M-rated games 15 hours a week were at significantly greater risk for getting into trouble than the average child, boys who played no video games were also at equally greater risk."

English is not my first language so this sentence confuses me.
Doesn't it mean that both gamers & idiots who don't play games share the same "significantly greater risk for getting into trouble"?

Zeithri:
"The authors also pointed to their most striking finding: while boys and girls who played exclusively M-rated games 15 hours a week were at significantly greater risk for getting into trouble than the average child, boys who played no video games were also at equally greater risk."

English is not my first language so this sentence confuses me.
Doesn't it mean that both gamers & idiots who don't play games share the same "significantly greater risk for getting into trouble"?

extreme gamers and idiots are at the same risk. moderate gamers are at a much lower risk.

fix-the-spade:

The_root_of_all_evil:
I'm loathe to do this but...

1250 kids and 500 parents? Doesn't seem to add up does it?

How so?
it works out at 2.5 kids per adult, assuming they only interviewed one parent from each family that sounds about normal.
Even if they interviewed both parents in every family and they were all still together it works out at 5 per pair of adults.
This doesn't sound too far fetched either, given that its middle America (sorry... extremely cheap shot...).

Normally I'm the elitist one (to intelligence, not class), and they probably didn't survey all the kid's parents.

Also I kind of figured that this would be the true result of such a study,

and aussiesniper is right

Zeithri:
"The authors also pointed to their most striking finding: while boys and girls who played exclusively M-rated games 15 hours a week were at significantly greater risk for getting into trouble than the average child, boys who played no video games were also at equally greater risk."

English is not my first language so this sentence confuses me.
Doesn't it mean that both gamers & idiots who don't play games share the same "significantly greater risk for getting into trouble"?

It means those who play Mature rated games and those who don't play at all have the same risk. Therefore, if you play less than 15 hours of Mature games, then you are less likely to be violent.

*Gives standing ovation to researchers*

Although I have to wonder about the 15+ hours of Mature games finding, and how they proved it was a cause-effect relationship, and not just a social pairing -- like saying jocks watch more sports on television than anything else. Well, not quite like that, but you get the idea.

zwitterion117:

Zeithri:
"The authors also pointed to their most striking finding: while boys and girls who played exclusively M-rated games 15 hours a week were at significantly greater risk for getting into trouble than the average child, boys who played no video games were also at equally greater risk."

English is not my first language so this sentence confuses me.
Doesn't it mean that both gamers & idiots who don't play games share the same "significantly greater risk for getting into trouble"?

It means those who play Mature rated games and those who don't play at all have the same risk. Therefore, if you play less than 15 hours of Mature games, then you are less likely to be violent.

In thought, yes.

Ah, thought so.
Thanks!

Well, chances are, if a child never goes outside, the opportunity to get into trouble would not arise. The article makes sense in that regard.

Zeithri:
"The authors also pointed to their most striking finding: while boys and girls who played exclusively M-rated games 15 hours a week were at significantly greater risk for getting into trouble than the average child, boys who played no video games were also at equally greater risk."

English is not my first language so this sentence confuses me.
Doesn't it mean that both gamers & idiots who don't play games share the same "significantly greater risk for getting into trouble"?

What it basically says is that boys will be boys and get into trouble whether they play video games or not rather than gamers being a particularly high risk.

Echolocating:
I hope it has something to do with plugging your brain into a computer. That would be cool. ;-)

Release on monday, http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/5274390/OCZ-NIA-Neural-Impulse-Actuator/Product.html

Mind bullets. Cool.

I'm quite wary of any scientific studies. I want a listing of where all the money for the research came from before I even read the articles anymore.

 

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