The effects of video-game play: a qualitative study of parents' and sons' perspectives

Since so much research revolving around the negative effects of violent video games has been inconclusive and often lacks first-hand insight, more research is needed to include the perspectives of the children who are playing video games and of the children’s parents who are faced with the struggles of raising children who play them. As an initial step in gaining a better understanding of how children and parents perceive the uses and influence of violent video games, this researcher recruited 10 male adolescents, aged 14–18 years old, and 8 of their parents or guardians. Focus groups were used to facilitate discussion among the male adolescents, while individual interviews were conducted with their parents. The primary concern of parents was of game content and the way the content conflicted with their family values. Parents had a difficult time monitoring their children’s game use and worried that the games would interfere with their social skills, education, and exercise. Boys used games to relax, work through angry feelings, and relieve stress, and often used them to socialize with friends. Boys did not believe that they had been negatively influenced by violent video games but were concerned that younger children were more vulnerable to the potential harmful effects of violent games.