Factors correlated with violent video game use by adolescent boys and girls

J Adolesc Health. 2007 Jul;41(1):77-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.01.001. Epub 2007 Apr 12.


Purpose: To compare the video and computer game play patterns of young adolescent boys and girls, including factors correlated with playing violent games.

Methods: Data collected in November/December, 2004 from children in grades 7 and 8 at two demographically diverse schools in Pennsylvania and South Carolina, using a detailed written self-reported survey.

Results: Of 1254 participants (53% female, 47% male), only 80 reported playing no electronic games in the previous 6 months. Of 1126 children who listed frequently played game titles, almost half (48.8%) played at least one violent (mature-rated) game regularly (67.9% of boys and 29.2% of girls). One third of boys and 10.7% of girls play games nearly every day; only 1 in 20 plays often or always with a parent. Playing M-rated games is positively correlated (p < .001) with being male, frequent game play, playing with strangers over the Internet, having a game system and computer in one's bedroom, and using games to manage anger.

Conclusions: Most young adolescent boys and many girls routinely play M-rated games. Implications for identifying atypical and potentially harmful patterns of electronic game use are discussed, as well as the need for greater media literacy among parents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Pennsylvania
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Risk Factors
  • South Carolina
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Video Games*
  • Violence*