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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 150867 Find in a Library
Title: Video Games and Children: Are There High Risk Players?
Author(s): J B Funk; D D Buchman
Corporate Author: Medical College of Ohio
Dept of Pediatrics
United States of America
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: Medical College of Ohio
Toledo, OH 43699
Type: Conference Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Risks to children posed by their playing violent video games are discussed.
Abstract: This paper describes relevant theory, outlines key questions, and reports related data from past investigations and the authors' research programs. Results of laboratory research and surveys are presented. The results of studies examining relationships between self-concept and frequency of play also are considered. One of the goals of the authors' research program is to determine if a preference for violent games identifies possible high-risk video game players: those whose playing habits either identify them as having pre-existing adjustment problems, perpetuate or worsen pre-existing problems, or precipitate new problems. Participants in one of the studies discussed were 179 sixth grade students from a suburban, public school system in a mid-sized, midwestern city with a small proportion of minority and lower income families. A questionnaire and the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Children were administered. Analysis of preliminary results reveal that boys reported spending more time than girls playing video games. There was no gender-specific difference on the total proportion of violent games identified as favorites; however, girls tended to prefer the fantasy violence games, while boys preferred the more realistic human or sports violence games. Subjects for future investigation are suggested, including determining the underlying reasons why many children and adolescents prefer violent games. Research involving younger children is planned. The researchers recommend, in light of the preliminary results of their and other's research, that parents periodically sample their children's favorite games and educate their children about the critical differences between media violence and violence in real-life. Children with known developmental and adjustment problems may need more careful monitoring, as these groups are probably at increased risk for adverse educational, interpersonal or intrapersonal outcomes. 35 references, 2 tables, 3 figures
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Criminology; Media-crime relationships; Violent video games
Note: This paper was presented at the International Conference on Violence in the Media: Prospects for Change, held on October 3-4, 1994, in New York City. The conference was sponsored by St. John's University.
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