Violent Video Games May Contribute to Negative Health Attitudes and Behaviors
In a small study of male undergraduates, those who played a violent video game had greater increases in diastolic blood pressure, greater negative affect (tendency toward anxiety, depression and anger), more permissive attitudes toward using alcohol and marijuana and more uncooperative behavior than those who played a video game with a low violence content. Sonya S. Brady, Ph.D., now at University of California, San Francisco, and Karen A. Matthews, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, recruited 100 men aged 18 to 21 years. Participants were assigned to play either Grand Theft Auto III, a highly violent game, or The Simpsons: Hit and Run, which involves driving through a city to complete various non-violent tasks. After playing for ten minutes, they completed a variety of physiological and psychological evaluations. "Results of the present study suggest that media violence exposure may predispose adolescents and young adults toward greater engagement in general health risk behaviors and toward tension and conflict in social interactions with others," the authors conclude. "Adolescents and their parents may benefit from media education campaigns."
(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160:341-347.)
Children Who Watch Violent TV May Spend Less Time with Friends
In a national survey of more than 3,500 children, those who watched more violent television spent less time with their friends. David S. Bickham, Ph.D., and Michael Rich, M.D., M.P.H., Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, analyzed time-use diaries completed by the children's primary caregivers. Children's activities were reported during every minute of two randomly selected days, one weekday and one weekend. Parents also wrote down who else was p
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