Tags: video | game | teen | driving

Daring Video Games Influence Teen Driving

Tuesday, 18 September 2012 11:50 AM

Teens who play risk-glorifying video games admit to being more likely to drive recklessly – and have more accidents – than those who avoid such mature-themed games, according to new research by the American Psychological Association.
The study, published in the APA journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture, also found such video games may increase rebelliousness, sensation seeking, and a willingness to drink and drive.
"Most parents would probably be disturbed to learn that we observed that this type of game play was more strongly associated with teen drivers being pulled over by the police than their parenting practices," said lead researcher Jay G. Hull, of Dartmouth College. "With motor vehicle accidents the No. 1 cause of adolescent deaths, popular games that increase reckless driving may constitute even more of a public health issue than the widely touted association of video games and aggression."
For the study, researchers analyzed the responses of more than 5,000 U.S. teenagers to questions in a series of telephone interviews conducted over a four-year period – beginning when the adolescents were 14 years old and ending when they were 18.
Among the findings:
• Half the teens reported in the first interview that their parents allowed them to play mature-rated games – including Grand Theft Auto III, Spiderman II, and Manhunt – associated with increases in sensation seeking, rebelliousness, risky driving, and drunk driving.
• Between the second and third interviews, teens who had been pulled over by the police increased from 11 percent to 21 percent; and those who had a car accident went from 8 percent to 14 percent.
• In the third interview, 25 percent of teens said "yes" when asked if they engaged in any unsafe driving habits.
• In the final interview when the teens were about 18, 90 percent said "yes" to at least one of the same risky driving habits: 78 percent admitted to speeding; 26 percent to tailgating; 23 percent to failure to yield; 25 percent to weaving in and out of traffic; 20 percent to running red lights; 19 percent to ignoring stop signs; 13 percent to crossing a double line; 71 percent to speeding through yellow lights; and 27 percent to not using a seatbelt.
"Playing these kinds of video games could also result in these adolescents developing personalities that reflect the risk-taking, rebellious characters they enact in the games and that could have broader consequences that apply to other risky behaviors such as drinking and smoking," Hull said.

© HealthDay

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Teens who play risk-glorifying video games are more likely to drive recklessly and have more accidents, a study finds.
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 11:50 AM
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