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Literature Review on Social Effects of Video Games in Children (Essay Sample)


This was a literature review on the Social Effects of Video Games in Children. The client wanted the paper in an essay format and as a writer, I researched and presented what has been done by many authors about the topic.


Literature Review on Social Effects of Video Games in Children
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Table of Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc79001578 \h 2Video games and Psychosocial Development PAGEREF _Toc79001579 \h 2Attachment Patterns and Empathy PAGEREF _Toc79001580 \h 3Problem Solving and Pro-Social Behaviour PAGEREF _Toc79001581 \h 4Escape-Oriented or Gain-Oriented Motive PAGEREF _Toc79001582 \h 5Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc79001583 \h 6References PAGEREF _Toc79001584 \h 7
The number of video game players rose from 1.84 billion in 2004 to around 2.5 billion in 2020. It is projected that the number will grow by about 200 million by the end of 2021 and hit a record 3 billion by 2022 (Dautovic, 2020). The statistics indicate that diverse people now play video games more than before, with some children and adolescents playing on average 4 hours a day. For this reason, the popularity of video games has drawn a substantial amount of attention not just in the news outlet but also in the widely expanding academic literature. Researchers, parents, and media outlets are now compelled to find answers on video games' role in children's problematic and non-problematic behaviors. For example, researchers are interested in knowing how academic dysfunctioning, social aggression, lack of social integration, and poor social skills are linked to video games, especially violent video games. Others are also exploring the concerns and stereotypes surrounding video gamers, such as how video games contribute to physically unfitness, socially awkward behaviors, and disengagement from both world and school, with some evidence labeling these stereotypes as false (Bean, Nielsen, Van Rooij, & Ferguson, 2017). Other research links video games with healthy and social skills, making this debate highly controversial on video games' effects. This literature review explores existing research on the social effects of video games.
Video games and Psychosocial Development
Many research papers on the effects of video games on children and adolescents exist. Lobel et al. (2017), in their longitudinal study, duped "Video gaming and children's psychosocial wellbeing" focused on the effects of video games on children's psychosocial development. With a sample size of 194 children, the researchers recorded children's gaming frequencies and their overall tendency to play violent video games, and their abilities to game both cooperatively and competitively. The study results indicated that excessive gaming was associated with increased emotional problems. Furthermore, the research results indicated that competitive gaming leads to a decrease in prosocial behaviors such as cooperating, helping, or sharing, mainly among children who played video games with a higher frequency. More so, the research argued that gaming frequency was significantly related to the increase in internalizing attentions (social withdrawal and fearfulness) and less on externalizing attention (vandalism and bullying). Children who played video games for more than 8 hours a week were at more risk of decreased prosocial behaviors than children who engaged in less video gaming. Accordingly, other potential consequences, especially among children overexposed to video games, are lack of real-life friends, lower psychosocial wellbeing and increased loneliness, stress and maladaptive problems, and psychosomatic issues. Excessive video games, according to the researchers, affected children and adolescent's social development.
Attachment Patterns and Empathy
Shosheni (2020), in his cross-sectional study which examined the association between attachment patterns, empathy, and children's and adolescent's aggressive, interpersonal, and prosocial video gameplay and peer relations. With a sample size of 1391 children and adolescents aged 9-15 years all exposed to either violent, prosocial, or interpersonal interactions, the researcher measured players dispositional attachment and empathy and peer support, aggressive behavior in daily life, social satisfaction, and pro-sociality. The researcher reports that secure attachments were highly related to higher-level prosocial and interpersonal interaction in video games. Children exposed to prosocial video games developed positive prosocial behaviors compared to children exposed to violent video games. As such, the type of video games exposed to a child or adolescent determined significantly whether they developed negative or positive prosocial behaviors.
Verheijen et al. (2018), in their study, investigated the association between exposure to violent video games and aggression over 12 months. By exploring the violent gaming of adolescents (actor effects) and their friend's aggressive behaviors (partner effects), the researchers concluded that excessive exposure to video games predicted an increase in adolescents' aggressive behavior and less effect on partners. The partner effect is stronger when adolescents play video games together often. Still, when two friends play violent video games apart, they are less likely to socially reinforce violent in-game behavior with deviancy training expected to be low. Peer influence greatly influenced an adolescent's aggressive behavior 12 months later because the more adolescents played together, the more deviancy training would occur. A friend who never played violent video games together had limited conversations on video game experience and was three more likely to reduce deviancy training impacts.
Problem Solving and Pro-Social Behaviour
In her research, Baboo, S. (2017) research the "Differential Effects on Playing and Watching Videogames on the Problem Solving and Prosocial Behaviour of Middle School Students," established that there is a correlation between excessive video game playing and withdrawal, poor social skills, loneliness, and social phobia. The study hypothesized that children with social phobia are vulnerable to higher exposure to video games and that children with social phobia who are highly exposed to video games are twice at risk of developing negative behaviors such as externalizing problems. With a sample size of 359 children and adolescents, the result concluded that children and adolescents with social phobia and highly exposed to video games displayed worse developmental outcomes. Children with social phobia and excessively exposed to video games were more likely to develop depression, loneliness, and social anxiety. They were also more at risk of increased aggressive behaviors, increased social isolation, and a possible decline in academic achievement than children without social phobia but exposed to video games.
Rathus (2013) argues that while video games promote creativity and problem solving among children and adolescents, violent video games negatively impact child development. Violent video games have always resorted to intensifying violence that affects children in the long term. Violent video games do not highlight the emotional, physical, and psychological effects of real violence to both victims and their families, leaving children unprepared to handle the real effects of war or conflict in the future. However, he agrees that when video game content is changed to feature positive content, the results are highly beneficial. He agrees that children's aggressive behaviors decline if violent video games are replaced with more positive content.
Escape-Oriented or Gain-Oriented Motive
Von Der Heiden, Braun, Müller, & Egloff (2019) argued further that video games' social effects on players are highly dependent on the play's motive. With a sample size of 2734 individuals, the researcher concluded a medium-sized negative relationship between psychological functioning and problematic video gaming concerning coping, self-esteem, affectivity, and psychological symptoms. According to the researcher, those who engaged in video games for distraction motive developed negatively, lower self-esteem, and higher symptoms rating. Those who played video games

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