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J Adolesc. 2012 Feb;35(1):153-62. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.04.001. Epub 2011 May 6.

"We don't need no education": Video game preferences, video game motivations, and aggressiveness among adolescent boys of different educational ability levels.

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Department of Communication Science, School of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


This research focuses on low educational ability as a risk factor for aggression and violent game play. We propose that boys of lower educational ability are more attracted to violent video games than other boys are, and that they are also higher in trait aggressiveness and sensation seeking. Participants were Dutch boys in public schools (N = 830, age-range 11-17). In the Netherlands, standardized tests are used to place students into lower, medium, and higher educational ability groups. Results showed that boys in the lower educational ability group preferred to play violent, stand-alone games, identified more with video game characters, and perceived video games to be more realistic than other boys did. Lower levels of education were also related to higher levels of aggressiveness and sensation seeking. Higher educational ability boys preferred social, multiplayer games. Within a risk and resilience model, boys with lower educational ability are at greater risk for aggression.

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