Staff Editorials

Study: Depression Cause of Violence
Posted: 14.12.2010 22:10 by Comments: 12
Yet another study has been released that proves "violent videogames" are not the root cause of violence. Research from Texas A&M International University finds that depression is the most solid predictor of antisocial, violent behavior in young adults.

According to lead researcher Dr. Christopher Ferguson: "Depressive symptoms stand out as particularly strong predictors of youth violence and aggression, and therefore current levels of depression may be a key variable of interest in the prevention of serious aggression in youth. The current study finds no evidence to support a long-term relationship between video game violence use and subsequent aggression. Even though the debate over violent video games and youth violence will continue, it must do so with restraint."

From a yearlong study of 302 children between the ages of 10 – 14 years-old from a small city on the border of Mexico. 75 percent of them played video games within the past month on computers, consoles or other devices, and 40 percent played games with “violent content”.

One year later, 7 percent reported being involved in at least one "criminally violent act during the previous 12 months," with the common crime being physical assaults on other students or the use of force to take something away from someone else. Nineteen percent reported engaging in at least one nonviolent crime during the same period, such as shoplifting or theft on school property.

Dr. Ferguson found that symptoms of depression were the common thread of the children who had committed social infractions. The research did not find that exposure to violence from video games or television at the start of the study was a good predictor of aggressive behavior in young people.

The fact is, videogames have no more negative affect than previous boogiemen like television, comic books, films, radio plays or books. Of course, video games will remain a convenient tool for psychiatrists to appear on television with or politicians attempting to win more votes with scare tactics.
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By expertacewtm (SI Veteran Newbie) on Dec 15, 2010
funny thing, my friend is doing this for an english speech, should reference the page for him.
By RaviL (SI Core Member) on Dec 15, 2010
I have to disagree with them there are a lot of cases when children did gruesome things because of violent games, ex. a kid killed a colleague with a knife just because he thought he wold "respawn" in real life as revenge.
So i have to say that most violent games have a real impact on a child mind and psiki.
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Dec 16, 2010
Er, trust me, he didn't stab him because of a videogame. He was mentally disturbed, and could have been influenced by anything from a book to a TV show to a song.
By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on Dec 16, 2010
@ RaviL

You may be right in one thing - he was influenced by the game. But, the real cause of his act wasn't the game itself, it was the parents who let him play games like that. I mean, parents today are mostly unaware of what their kids are reading/watching etc. Almost every parent thinks that TV and other forms of entertainment are harmless for their kids. That's a BIG mistake. No one should let their small child to get under such influence. When I was a kid, we played outside and with toys. Virtual games are not toys, they are a form of expression, and as such, they can leave a really big trace on a young spirit.

I know it sounds like philosophy lol, but it's true. There is one Latin saying: "Tabula rasa". That means something like "empty board", and that saying represents a new-born child. Every child is an empty board, and the parents are the ones who should decide what to put on that board.
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Dec 17, 2010
Well said! :) Still, games that are for some age groups should be considered. Thats what ratings are for.

Still, violence comes from mental sickness. If it isn't triggered by games, it will be by something else.
By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on Dec 17, 2010
@Wowerine - exactly. Games can only be a trigger, just like anything else in this world, but the cause lies within the ill parent-child relationship.
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Dec 17, 2010
Of course. Parents should know better than to give their mentally disturbed child games like gears of war or something like that. They should stay at Super Mario level. or not even play games with characters. Puzzles and racing games are good :)
By expertacewtm (SI Veteran Newbie) on Dec 18, 2010
i think some of the games the parents dont care about, and might cause a few problems is the GTA series.
By expertacewtm (SI Veteran Newbie) on Dec 18, 2010
i have played a few gorey games though. Gears of War Borderlands, Fallout 3 & New Vegas. people exploding, peoples heads blowing off, brain chunks and eyeballs sitting on the floor after you shoot off the head. it may be gorey but it really doesn't affect me, i'm a very docile person.
By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on Dec 18, 2010
@ Expertacewtm - Getting affected by those kind of things depends on how old you are, and of course how old you are inside your head :) Physical age is not the parameter in this issue :)
By Joxi (SI Newbie) on Dec 18, 2010
This is kinda odd...My 7 year old brother plays games, "Violent" ones, like WoW ( Dont worry just lvling), League of legends and he is like...well violent to me!
But that's just cause i tease him lololol
By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on Dec 19, 2010
By "Violent" I consider F.E.A.R or DOOM, not WoW of course. But that game shouldn't be allowed for kids anyways, since it's a MMO.