Violent video games linked to aggressive thoughts in kids

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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Kids who play violent video games tend to exude more aggressive behavior and have more violent thoughts, that's according to a recent study that looked at thousands of children. 

Iowa State University researchers tracked the gaming habits and behavior of more than 3,000 children in Singapore. They found those who played violent video games tended to behave more aggressively and have aggressive thoughts regardless of parent involvement, age and sex.

"Unfortunately, these results aren't all that surprising. If children are exposed to violence, especially at younger ages, they're more likely to view those kinds of behaviors as acceptable," said Cleveland Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Kim Giuliano.

Researchers say future studies should hone in on what causes these behavior changes. Giuliano adds that parents are the first line of defense.

"It helps if parents talk to their children and explain fantasy versus reality, but young brains don't often grasp the difference in the concepts, so really, removing these from a child's exposure is the best thing for parents to do," she said.

Read more about this study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

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