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Author: Olson, Cheryl K.; Kutner, Lawrence A.; Warner, Dorothy E.
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Year: 2008
Article Title: The role of violent video game content in adolescent development: Boys' perspectives
Journal: Journal of Adolescent Research
Volume: 23
Edition: 1
Issue: 23
Pages: 55-75
ISBN/ISSN: 1552-6895
Source of Funding: Grant No. 2003-JN-FX-0078 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
Study Design: Qualitative Study
Publication Type: Journal Article
Age Group: Adolescence (13-17 yrs), Childhood (birth-12 yrs), School Age (6-12 yrs)
Abstract: Objective: To examine how adolescent males perceive the uses and influence of video games.

Design: Focus groups.

Subjects and Setting: 42 adolescent males, ages 12-14, in the 7th and 8th grades. All participants played video or computer games = 2 hrs per wk. 21 were recruited via email broadcast to Partners HealthCare System employees. These participants attended focus groups with their parents. 21 other participants were recruited at 3 Boston-area clubs for disadvantaged youth and attended boys-only focus groups at the clubs. Focus groups had 4-5 youths and lasted 75-90 minutes.

Intervention(s): N/A

Outcome Measure(s): Motivations for playing video games. Perceptions of the role of video games in social relationships. Perceptions of the influence of video games on the feelings and behaviors of peers and themselves.

Results: The boys were attracted to video games for power fantasies, challenge, stress release, social interactions, and learning new skills. The boys tended to think that role-playing and sports games were positive influences, while games with violent content might be a bad influence on less mature youth.

Conclusion: Adolescent boys who played video games regularly liked to play because video games offered challenge, stress release, fantasy, and social interaction, and few thought that video game content had a negative impact on their lives. Center on Media and Child Health
Keywords: Adolescents
Computer Games
Junior High School Students
Play Behavior
Positive Effects
Risk Factors
Third Person Effect
Video Games



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