Author(s): Colwell J, Payne J
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Abstract There is some concern that playing computer games may be associated with social isolation, lowered self-esteem, and aggression among adolescents. Measures of these variables were included in a questionnaire completed by 204 year eight students at a North London comprehensive school. Principal components analysis of a scale to assess needs fulfilled by game play provided some support for the notion of 'electronic friendship' among boys, but there was no evidence that game play leads to social isolation. Play was not linked to self-esteem in girls, but a negative relationship was obtained between self-esteem and frequency of play in boys. However, self-esteem was not associated with total exposure to game play. Aggression scores were not related to the number of games with aggressive content named among three favourite games, but they were positively correlated with total exposure to game play. A multiple regression analysis revealed that sex and total game play exposure each accounted for a significant but small amount of the variance in aggression scores. The positive correlation between playing computer games and aggression provides some justification for further investigation of the causal hypothesis, and possible methodologies are discussed.
This article was published in Br J Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior