Violent Video Games and Depression

Health Violent Video Games

Many research studies have shown a connection between violent video game exposure and aggression, but a new study is the first to examine the relationship between daily violent video game exposure and depression.

A study of 5,147 fifth-grade students conducted by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health found that those who played violent video games for two or more hours a day had many more depressive symptoms than those who did not. This was especially true for males in the group — 15 percent of whom played violent video games for more than two hours a day. Among African-American male students, that rate rose to 19 percent. The association between violent video games and depression was consistent across all ethnic groups.

Depressive symptoms were described as a lack of pleasure, lack of interest in activities, concentration difficulties, low energy, low self-worth and suicidal ideation over the past year. The study was published in the August 2014 issue of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

Katherine Kopp is a freelance writer and editor in Chapel Hill.

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