, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 38-47,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 13 Jun 2010

The Effects of Pathological Gaming on Aggressive Behavior

Abstract

Studies have shown that pathological involvement with computer or video games is related to excessive gaming binges and aggressive behavior. Our aims for this study were to longitudinally examine if pathological gaming leads to increasingly excessive gaming habits, and how pathological gaming may cause an increase in physical aggression. For this purpose, we conducted a two-wave panel study among 851 Dutch adolescents (49% female) of which 540 played games (30% female). Our analyses indicated that higher levels of pathological gaming predicted an increase in time spent playing games 6 months later. Time spent playing violent games specifically, and not just games per se, increased physical aggression. Furthermore, higher levels of pathological gaming, regardless of violent content, predicted an increase in physical aggression among boys. That this effect only applies to boys does not diminish its importance, because adolescent boys are generally the heaviest players of violent games and most susceptible to pathological involvement.