For as long as video games have been around, there has been the argument that they may influence a teen’s behavior.
But, are teens who play video games really affected that much? Although some believe that teen gaming can lead to psychiatric disorders, not everyone agrees as to whether or not it the effects are that detrimental. However, if your teen has been playing games like Call of Duty and is exhibiting some behavioral changes, it’s only natural to wonder, “Does playing video games hurt my teen?”
What Does Research Say About Teen Gaming?
Although the first instinct of parents is to assume that aggressive behavior may increase due to violent video games, the tendency toward that type of behavior is not the change that teens may see. A study published online in Social Psychological and Personality Science noted that the teens who played violent video games – like “Call of Duty” and “Grand Theft Auto” not only acted more aggressively, but they were also more morally disengaged and showed less self-restraint following their gaming.
Additional studies regarding violent or extremely aggressive video games support that theory that teen gaming can have detrimental effects on a teen’s mental health, with the negative effects increasing over time. However, in addition to simply addressing violent video games, still more research suggests that excessive playing of even non-violent games can have an influence on your child: the more kids played video games, the deeper their depression and anxiety became.
Unfortunately, it’s not that cut and dry when it comes to determining if psychiatric disorders may be perpetuated by teen gaming, as an entirely different study suggests that playing video games like “Mortal Combat” and “Grand Theft Auto” provided no additional influence on the level of violence in at-risk teens whatsoever. Yet, the fact remains that increased psychiatric problems do happen in some kids.
Is it happening to your teen?