TAMIU Prof’s Study: No Link between Video Game Violence, Dating, Aggression
Posted: 12/8/11

TAMIU Prof’s Study: No Link Between Video
Game Violence, Dating and Aggression

Christopher Ferguson
Dr. Christopher Ferguson

Parents concerned about the long-term effects of getting the latest violent video game for their children this holiday season should rest easy.

According to research by Texas A&M International University associate professor of psychology Dr. Christopher Ferguson, exposure to video game violence was not related to any youth aggression or dating violence.

“The results of the three-year longitudinal study of video game violence exposure and aggressiveness and dating violence in youth found no evidence of harmful video game violence effects,” stated Dr. Ferguson.

The study supports a growing body of evidence pointing away from video game violence use as a predictor of youth aggression, he concluded.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California ban on selling or renting violent video games to minors, citing the lack of newer, empirically sound research, particularly with well-validated clinical outcome measures.

The Australian Government also found the research on video games to be inconsistent, unconvincing and riddled with methodological flaws.

“Scholars have been calling for higher quality research on this issue. The results indicate that depression, antisocial personality traits, exposure to family violence, and peer influences were the best predictors of aggression-related outcomes,” said Ferguson.

He also suggested the scientific community become more familiar with Moral Panic Theory.

“Put briefly, Moral Panic Theory observes that societies tend to construct ‘folk devils’ upon which to shift blame for purported problems in society. We believe it will be of value to the scientific community to become more sophisticated in identifying moral panics in the future, particularly where they may otherwise influence the scientific process,” Ferguson said.

The article in press is currently available online in The Journal of Psychiatric Research.

For more information, please contact Ferguson at 326.2636, e-mail cferguson@tamiu.edu or visit offices in Dr. F.M. Canseco Hall, room 302C.

University office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu