Discussing Risky Behavior Online is…Well…Risky

Posted under Research Blog.

This month’s issue of Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine includes two related studies about teens’ online discussion of their own risk behaviors, whether real or invented, in the real world. Researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute conducted both studies. One study found that most teens do discuss sex, substance use, or violence on social… Read more »

How Young People Educate Themselves…Digitally

Posted under Research Blog.

The recently published findings from the Digital Youth Project, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, shed some interesting light on how young people use media and on the benefits of that use. Contrary to what the report calls common adult perceptions, the findings suggest that digital media are important to young… Read more »

Wii Wand Doesn’t Increase Aggression…but Violent Video Games Do

Posted under Research Blog.

After the release of “Manhunt II” for the Wii–in which players use a motion-detecting wand to punch, stab, and dismember other characters–many experts expressed concern over the potential effects of reinforcing such violent movements in video game play. A study soon to be published in Computers and Human Behavior, however, did not find that using… Read more »

Increased Fears about Video Game Addiction

Posted under Research Blog.

November 13 brought the release of "World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King," an expansion of the hugely popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). According to the Telegraph, lines started forming 18 hours before the midnight release in London. This popularity has helped renew concerns about video game addiction. The game’s release… Read more »

More Links Between Violent Media and Aggression

Posted under Research Blog.

Over the past 50 years, research has linked violent media exposure to increased aggression in young people. This month’s Pediatrics adds two new studies to the mix: one on Internet violence and one on violent video games. Both recommend reducing or eliminating youth exposure to violent media. One study found a link between being exposed… Read more »

Children’s Safety vs. Free Speech?

Posted under Research Blog.

On Wednesday, California will once again bring to the courts the question of whether to bar the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The Mercury New reports that supporters intend to protect children from the negative effects of exposure to media violence. Opponents, however, say that the law is unconstitutional and claim… Read more »

Can Reading Help Kids Lose Weight?

Posted under Research Blog.

We know that reading offers a wide variety of benefits, but is encouraging weight loss one of them? According to a new study by Duke University researchers, the answer might be yes–when you’re reading the right kind of book. Healthy Lifestyles, Duke’s six-month childhood obesity program, gave 31 of its 81 participants a book called… Read more »

Books + Video Games = Increased Reading?

Posted under Research Blog.

Virtually all young people in the U.S. play video games, according to a recent Pew Internet study, but fewer and fewer seem to be reading books for fun. As a recent study from the National Endowment for the Arts reports, less than one third of thirteen-year-olds are daily readers. There are a variety of approaches… Read more »

Does TV Violence Affect Children of Different Races and Genders Differently?

Posted under Research Blog.

Many studies have explored the relationship between kids’ exposure to media violence and harmful health effects, but there has been little research into whether these effects tend to differ depending on the viewer’s gender or race. A study published in September’s Perspectives on Psychological Science brings some new evidence to the table. Researchers found that,… Read more »

Violence on YouTube

Posted under Research Blog.

A gunman opened fire in a Finnish school Tuesday, killing 10 students and himself. The AP reports that the suspect posted threatening videos on YouTube the day before the shooting, which prompted police questioning but not confiscation of his gun. The event brought renewed attention to YouTube’s policy about posting threatening videos. Although the site… Read more »