Friendly fire: Longitudinal effects of exposure to violent video games on aggressive behavior in adolescent friendship dyads

Aggress Behav. 2018 May;44(3):257-267. doi: 10.1002/ab.21748. Epub 2018 Jan 24.


Research on gaming effects has focused on adolescence, a developmental period in which peer relationships become increasingly salient. However, the impact of peers on the effects of violent gaming on adolescents has been understudied. This study examined whether adolescents' exposure to violent video games predicted their own and their friend's aggression one year later. Among 705 gaming adolescents, 141 dyads were identified based on reciprocated best friend nominations (73.8% male, Mage = 13.98). Actor-Partner Interdependence Models indicated that adolescent males' (but not females') exposure to violent games positively predicted the aggression of their best friend 1 year later. This effect appeared regardless of whether the friends played video games together or not. The study illustrates the importance of peers in the association between violent gaming and aggression.

Keywords: adolescence; aggressive behavior; peer influences; video games.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Friends / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Video Games / psychology*