Violent video games, empathy and indirect aggression in primary school

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Doyle, Amanda
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Violent video gaming has received considerable attention in news headlines recently describing the negative associations with increased aggression and negative social consequences. In consideration of the bias in reporting the negative consequences of violent video gaming, and the understanding that children are engaging in playing violent games at an earlier age than appropriate, this study examines the associations between video game violence, empathy and indirect aggression in primary school children aged 9 to 12 years. Results of analysis from quantitative self-report measures (N=90), found that playing violent video games is negatively associated with lower levels of empathy and higher levels of indirect aggression. Gender differences were found, with males playing more violent video games and spending more time playing than females.