Violent Video Games and Aggression Among Young Adults: The Moderating Effects of Adverse Environmental Factors

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Dagadu, Caleb Joshua
Prince Clement, Addo
Jiaming, Fang
Nora, Bakabbey Kulbo
Bernard, Gumah
Liangqiang, Li
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Research is divided on the effects of violent video games (VVGs). Some scholars claimed that VVG promotes aggression, reduces empathy, increases self-injury, and externalization, whereas others claim that a minimal or, in some cases, no traits as reported by the former is associated with playing VVGs. This study provides evidence to support claims that VVG is associated with aggressive behavior among young adults. However, the study focused more importantly on the moderating effects of adverse environmental factors on this relationship from a cross-cultural perspective. A total of 3,219 young adults between 18 and 35 years sampled from colleges and game centers in Ghana and China provided support for this study. We adopted a parallel moderated mediation regression analysis and found that increased exposure to VVG is associated with reduced empathy concerns, aggression-related thoughts, and increased aggressive behavior. Although controlling for gender, setting, and location, the results pointed to the magnifying effects of the adverse environments in explaining the association between VVG and aggressive behavior. This study thus provides strong support for the frequently debated adverse effects of playing VVG among young adults with a particular reference to environmental factors and will hence aid in communicating a more representative viewpoint on the effects of VVG.
Addo, P. C., Fang, J., Kulbo, N. B., Gumah, B., Dagadu, J. C., & Li, L. (2021). Violent video games and aggression among young adults: the moderating effects of adverse environmental factors. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24(1), 17-23.