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Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policyby Craig A. Anderson
Synopses & Reviews
Violent video games are successfully marketed to and easily obtained by children and adolescents. Even the U.S. government distributes one such game, America's Army, through both the internet and its recruiting offices. Is there any scientific evidence to support the claims that violent games contribute to aggressive and violent behavior?
Anderson, Gentile, and Buckley first present an overview of empirical research on the effects of violent video games, and then add to this literature three new studies that fill the most important gaps. They update the traditional General Aggression Model to focus on both developmental processes and how media-violence exposure can increase the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both short- and long-term contexts. Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents also reviews the history of these games' explosive growth, and explores the public policy options for controlling their distribution. Anderson et al. describe the reaction of the games industry to scientific findings that exposure to violent video games and other forms of media violence constitutes a significant risk factor for later aggressive and violent behavior. They argue that society should begin a more productive debate about whether to reduce the high rates of exposure to media violence, and delineate the public policy options that are likely be most effective.
As the first book to unite empirical research on and public policy options for violent video games, Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents will be an invaluable resource for student and professional researchers in social and developmental psychology and media studies.
Book News Annotation:
Anderson, Gentile, and Buckley (all psychology, Iowa State U.) offer a text for researchers, public policy makers, parents, and educators concerned about the negative effects of video games on children and adolescents. Coverage includes an overview of basic issues concerning violent video games; past research on the subject; the authors' updated version of the General Aggression Model and its use to understand developmental processes to predict effects of media violence on the development of aggressive behavior and aggressive personality; presentation of three new studies filling important knowledge gaps in video game research literature; and a summarization and of the authors' new findings and their implications for several key issues. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Craig A. Anderson, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University, is widely regarded as the foremost expert on the effects of violent video games. His research on aggression, media violence, depression, and social judgment has had a profound influence on psychological theory and modern society. His tireless efforts to educate public policy-makers and the general public have earned him recognition as one of the most influential and respected social psychologists in the world.
Douglas A. Gentile is a developmental psychologist and is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University and the Director of Research for the National Institute on Media and the Family. As one of the country's leading media effects researchers, he conducts studies on the positive and negative effects of media on children and adults, including the effects of advertising, educational television, and video games. His studies provide valuable insights to parents, educators, pediatricians, and policy-makers about how to maximize the benefits of media usage while minimizing potential harms.
Katherine E. Buckley, who is completing her Ph.D. in Psychology at Iowa State University, has been researching aggression and media violence. Katherine received her M.A. from Wake Forest University in 2001. She is a member of the American Psychological Society as well as the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Society for Research in Child Development.
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