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The Effect of Violent and Nonviolent Video Games on Heart Rate Variability, Sleep, and Emotions in Adolescents With Different Violent Gaming Habits
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
2013 (English)In: Psychosomatic Medicine, ISSN 0033-3174, E-ISSN 1534-7796, Vol. 75, no 4, 390-396 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To study cardiac, sleep-related, and emotional reactions to playing violent (VG) versus nonviolent video games (NVG) in adolescents with different gaming habits. Methods: Thirty boys (aged 13-16 years, standard deviation=0.9), half of them low-exposed (<= 1 h/d) and half high-exposed (>= 3 h/d) to violent games, played a VG/NVG for 2 hours during two different evenings in their homes. Heart rate (HR) and HR variability were registered from before start until next morning. A questionnaire about emotional reactions was administered after gaming sessions and a sleep diary on the following mornings. Results: During sleep, there were significant interaction effects between group and gaming condition for HR (means [standard errors] for low-exposed: NVG 63.8 [2.2] and VG 67.7 [2.4]; for high-exposed: NVG 65.5 [1.9] and VG 62.7 [1.9]; F(1,28)=9.22, p=.005). There was also a significant interaction for sleep quality (low-exposed: NVG 4.3 [0.2] and VG 3.7 [0.3]); high-exposed: NVG 4.4 [0.2] and VG 4.4 [0.2]; F(1,28)=3.51, p=.036, one sided), and sadness after playing (low-exposed: NVG 1.0 [0.0] and VG 1.4 [0.2]; high-exposed: NVG 1.2 [0.1] and VG 1.1 [0.1]; (F(1,27)=6.29, p=.009, one sided). Conclusions: Different combinations of the extent of (low versus high) previous VG and experimental exposure to a VG or an NVG are associated with different reaction patterns-physiologically, emotionally, and sleep related. Desensitizing effects or selection bias stand out as possible explanations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013. Vol. 75, no 4, 390-396 p.
Keyword [en]
children, heart rate variability, emotion, sleep quality, violent video game, desensitization
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219886DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182906a4cISI: 000330467700008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-219886DiVA: diva2:703656
Available from: 2014-03-07 Created: 2014-03-06 Last updated: 2014-03-07Bibliographically approved

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