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ENG 102: Lesson 12: increased screen time and playing video games leads to violent behaviors

Elizabeth812 1 / -  
Mar 11, 2023   #1
Rio Salado College

Do video games and increased screen time cause our children to have violent behaviors?

"Why does my child show violent behaviors after having increased screen time and playing video games."

Elizabeth De Filippis

Professor Alexis LaDuca

ENG102 - 20181


Over the years there have been numerous studies that argue that playing video games and having increased screen time cause aggression and violence in children. Electronic devices have become extremely addicting to children in this generation, without a screen the child will act out of their character. However, are we even monitoring how much screen time children have, or what they are watching or playing on their devices? Video games and too much screen time can cause an increase in aggression thus causing violent behaviors in our youth. In this paper you will learn a multitude of reasons why limiting screen time and video games will lower the chances of raised aggression and violent outbursts in children. The paper will touch on creditable sources and studies done over the years to prove that children who play video games and have excessive screen time have raised aggression and outburst when not attached to their devices.

The debate on whether video games and unlimited screen time raise aggression in the youth has been a hot topic for many years. There have been over 1,200 research studies and reports published throughout the years. Some of the studies have children play violent video games and record how the child acts afterward or when the game is taken. Since these studies only focused on violent video games many other studies were deployed with non-aggressive games, and lengths of time children spend on their screens. All these studies prove then there is a change in the child's behavior when the screens are taken away or the control is placed down. Who would have thought the world would have changed so drastically over the years where a screen is more important than spending time with your children. Parents tend to turn a bind eye on their children when it comes to screen time, however, notice that their children have random spikes of aggression at different times of the day.

In today's modern age it is easier to give into a child's demands than to spend time with them to help avoid electronic devices and games. It is human nature to choose convenience over intelligence, it would be more convenient to give into your child's demands of screen time than to stand your ground and deal with the little fit they may throw. This may not be the most intelligent choice but one will do this to avoid conflict or a temper tantrum. A study was done on parents to see why they think parenting is harder in today's generation. This study give's responses and percentages on what the parents answered. "Among respondents who believe that parenting is harder today, 26% cite technology. Many of these responses mention the increased use of technology and the rapid changes in technology that can be hard for parents to keep up with. They also mention how these technologies may be changing the behaviors and experiences of children." (Nadeem). Parenting becomes harder as technology continues to advance in this new modern era.

It is easy for a parent to get wrapped up in their own life and forget that family time should be the most important priority. With this new age of technology, we often find ourselves with our phones in our hands. Parents can be too busy with their own devices that they do not care about how much their children are on their own screens. It's easier to hand a child an iPad or a controller than to set down your own device to spend time with them. Technology is our children's downfall, screens, games, and applications are so addictive to the youth that it can in fact cause an increase in aggression. A study was done on parents that asked them questions about their screen time and their relationship with their children. "Interestingly enough, 79 percent believe that their relationship with their children would benefit if they all spent less time on their devices." (Swns). Parents agreed that they are allowing too much screen time for themselves let alone their children causing fractures in their family dynamic. Advertisement plays a big role in ones thoughts and ideas about children playing video games and having unlimited screen time.

An advertisement has one goal, that is to sell their product because of this they will give misinformation or try to discredit the facts to help ease your mind on the game or application so an individual will allow their child to use it. When doing research on this topic an individual needs to be careful about what they look up and choose to read. There are many articles on the internet that provide bias on the subject because the writer is a gamer themselves or work for a corporation that sells or advertises games. For example, Eric Kain try's to give misleading and incorrect information in an article he wrote about the subject because he is a competitive video gamer and write for Forbes magazine. "Studies on how violent video games affect behavior date to the mid-1980s,with conflicting results. Since then, there have been at least two dozen studies conducted on the subject." (Kain). Kain makes this general statement in one of his articles but this is misleading information, he does this so that he can try and ease a parents mind on how much their child should play on game. In fact, there have been over 1,200 studies and experiments done alone just on this topic. When study's first started they were focused on how violent video games affected youth, this opened the door to all video games and screen time.

Violent video games such as first-person shooter games are worse for children to play than other cartoon-based video games. Playing these games can cause an increase in anxiety and aggression during game play and after game play. There was a study conducted at the University of Sussex's School of Life Sciences that wanted to see if there was a increased spike of aggression in individuals who played violent video games. " In fact, participants who had played the violent video game online were more aggressive (M = 16.81, SD = 16.57; contrast weight: 3) compared to participants who had played the violent video game offline (M = 15.35, SD = 14.04; contrast weight: -1)." (Hollingdale). This study indicated that online game play caused higher increases in aggression the offline game play but no the less they both have increases of aggression. The study showed that after the game these hormones are still running high and cause the moods to continue well after the game was completed. Well having these increases in hormones, it is more likely to have a violent outbreak without being provoked. It is detrimental to limit a child's screen time to ensure that their behaviors and growth can be monitored.

Addiction to screen time, video games, and applications can cause a huge increase when inaccessible. As parents we are tasked with making sure our children are well rounded and spend time doing multiple things. Turning a blind eye to the screen time your child has will cause many problems the biggest one would be addiction to the screen or applications being used. When you take an addict away from their addiction there are in turn effects that will happen. "In multiple studies, excessive screen time has been linked to school problems, anger, aggression, frustration, depression and other emotional problems. Over-stimulation causes kids to have poor focus and depletes their mental energy, which often leads to explosive behavior." (Garg). It would be easier to limit the screen time now before your child is addicted, they may throw a little fit but waiting will cause a greater problem. To further my research I conducted an interview with an individual with a child to see how their children interact with screen time.

When completing research, it is important to do field research as well including interviews. Gaining outside knowledge and gathering your own information on the subject can put into perspective more then reading an article. I conducted an interview with an individual named Bradley, he has a child that is allowed to have screen time. When speaking to Bradley he expressed that not only did his child show an increase in aggression, but you never know what your child is watching or playing online. He said that with all the technology and different devices you are unable to always keep an eye on what your child is doing. He expressed that his child was addicted to YouTube and it allows him access to the world wide web, with this access you can view violent clips. He talked about how his child was addicted to his tablet and would throw fits if he didn't get it, that it was harder to ween his child off from the device than it would have been to just say no to giving him the device in the beginning. As a mother of an eight-year-old I have experienced both the side of addiction to video games and the results of breaking the addiction.

To give perspective from my own personal experiences on how video games and screen time effects a child's aggression levels I will provide examples of when my child was always on a screen and when they were limited on screen time. Once my child turned six years of age I decided to buy my son an iPad thinking it would give me more time to do what was needed of me and give them an outlet so they were not always bored. He received his iPad whenever he wished to have it, it sat on the counter for easy access. Of course, my child was always on it, and our family dynamic changed drastically. I noticed he quickly became very dependent on it, when he woke up before school he needed it in his hands and it was a fight to get him out the door. He was waking up around four A.M causing little sleep and his moods to shift. His teachers would tell me that when it was time to learn he would try to run for the school devices instead of staying on task. He would act out throw a fit in class when he was unable to have it this lowered his grades and caused class distractions. When he would walk in the door after school he would run right to the counter to get his device and if it was not there he would scream and sometimes even try to bite me. I made the decision to limit his screen time to after school on Friday and allowed him to have it on Saturday. When making the transition and limiting screen time it was very difficult for both him and me.

My child was addicted to the device and I knew I had to do something to change this or his aggression and violent outburst would just become overwhelming and harmful. The first week or so was challenging. He was extremely angry with me and would slam his door and throw his toys. He became sad and depressed when he realized I was not going to budge on my decision. Seeing this reminded me of an addict being taken away from their addiction, I turned to the internet to try and find out why he was having this outburst. I found that a lot of children had increases in aggression due to the amount of screen time they were allowed. After a few weeks to a month of the change his whole demeaner changed. My little boy was back to how he used to be, we spent more time as a family and he was happier and his teachers were reporting that he was back on task and doing well. I knew I had to be a voice and advocate for not only my child but for the new generation. There are many ways to control the situation and change the aggressive behaviors caused by these applications, video games and screen time allotment.

To change the behaviors in your child caused by video games and screen time you can do many things. The first thing that is suggested is to remove unlimited screen time and only allow a certain amount per week or per day depending on your family dynamic. This will be hard to do at first as the aggression will increase for a little while and well the child adjusts to the changes being made. Another good idea that was suggested would be to have the child earn their screen time or allotted time. You can do this by offering screen time if the child performs their daily chores, completes homework or even spends time with the family doing an activity. This promotes better family quality time and a reward for increased grades. As parents we are supposed to monitor what the children are watching or playing. Removing violent video game options and placing filters on their devices will ensure that they are only able to access allowed content. Taking away these violent options will help to keep your child in a calm state and keep intrusive thoughts away. Spending more time with your children taking them to outdoor activities or having family game nights will show them that they are more important than a screen. This will also help build your child's social interaction and life skill. All these suggestions will help support a healthy family dynamic and keep your child's aggression and violent outburst at bay.

It is beyond important to direct our children on the correct path, they are our future. They need to not only have a sense of community but understanding that not everything on a screen is important. By limiting the video games and screen time, we can teach the youth about community and the importance of social interactions. We can prevent increased aggression and the possibility of violent outbreaks. There is so much advertisement for video games, and misinformation on the effects it can have on the youth. To make the change we need to be better educated, spend less time on a screen, and interact more with our children. Individuals tend to choose convenience over intelligence, and sometimes what is convenient for us is not intelligent. This topic is important and if not addressed and changed we can be setting up the future generation for failure. I believe that through my research I have provided adequate, convincing information to help persuade parent about why this is so important. I hope that it can help educate others on this topic and change your family dynamics to be more involved.

Work Cite Page

Kain, Eric. "Violent Video Games Do Not Cause Violence." Violent Video Games, edited by Roman Espejo, Greenhaven Press, 2015. At Issue. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints. Accessed 18 Feb. 2023. Originally published as "The Truth About Video Games and Gun Violence," Mother Jones, 11 June 2013.

Hollingdale, Jack, and Tobias Greitemeyer. "The Effect of Online Violent Video Games on Levels of Aggression." PLoS ONE, vol. 9, no. 11, 12 Nov. 2014. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints. Accessed 18 Feb. 2023.

Nadeem, Reem. "4. Parents' Attitudes - and Experiences - Related to Digital Technology." Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center, 27 Aug. 2020

Swns. "Parents Only Spend 24 More Minutes with Their Kids than Their Phones." New York Post, New York Post, 21 Oct. 2019

Garg, Aditi. "Post-Screen-Time Anger & Frustration in Kids." Post-Screen-Time Anger in Kids, Causes and Need to Monitor | Allina Health, 16 Apr. 2021
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,801 4780  
Mar 12, 2023   #2
In this paper you will learn

The paper will touch

Since this is a first person point of view essay, you should restate your thesis statement to reflect that you will be introducing these topics and why you feel the need to do so. Remember that your opinion must be clear in the presentation because you are representing a personal experience in the research (your son).

the studies have children play violent video games and record how the child acts afterward or when the game is taken

Maybe try to introduce 2 sides of this discussion ? Not all video games are violent. There are skill building, sports, dancing, and other non-violent games also available. Why not reflect on whether the change of video game theme still results in violent behavior? It would bring something new to the research of an old and tired topic.

You refer to studies in the research but you do not fully acknowledge who conducted the test, how it was conducted, and what the actual results were. The references are too vaugue to be accepted as factual and authoritative. You may want to rethink the presentation of supporting evidence in the paper.

*Limited review provided due to the length of the paper. Please contact me privately for a comprehensive private review. Thank you.

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