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New study finds video games linked to child aggression

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Violent video games may be directly tied to violent thoughts and behaviors among children, data from a new study conducted in Singapore suggests. The data, reported by Reuters Health, indicates kids who often play violent video games demonstrate aggressive tendencies, including hitting others.

"Just like children's bodies can be affected by what they eat, their brains can be affected by what they repeatedly do," said Douglas A. Gentile, who worked on the study at Iowa State University.

The study was conducted over a three year time span and included 3,034 kids children ages ranging from eight to 17. Gender, prior aggressiveness, or parental monitoring had little to no effect in terms of the correlation between violent games and child behavior. However, U.S.-conducted studies seem to suggest the opposite, with parental involvement actually making a difference.

"One reason may be that Singaporean parents don't vary as much as Americans - they all tend to be involved, so it's harder for our statistical processes to see what effect it has," said Gentile.

The issue of violence in video games and a supposed connection to increased aggressive behavior in children is a highly controversial topic here in the United States. Games are often used as a scapegoat when a major tragedy occurs, like last year's Navy Yard shooting. Despite numerous surveys and studies conducted, a connection between games and violence is still widely debated.

For specifics regarding this specific study, check out JAMA Pediatrics.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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