Family Violence Expert Downplays Role of Video Games in Teen Violence

During a question-and-answer session, a leading expert on family violence largely dismissed the role of video games in promoting violent behavior among teens.

Richard J. Gelles is dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and also serves as the director of the Center for Research on Youth and Social Policy.

Gelles, who has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning, America and Oprah answered readers’ questions about violence over the last few days on Philly.com, the website of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

While reading over Dr. Gelles’ answers to numerous reader-submitted questions, we noticed this exchange:

Q: Excuse me sir, but what is your opinion on video games and the lack of parenting to control the ever increasing teen violence? A student, Philadelphia, Pennslyvania 10/05/06

A: Video games play almost no important role in teen violence. Teens with a predisposition to being violent may be drawn to violent video games, but overall, other factors (besides television, music, or video games) are more important risk factors for teen violence. Richard Gelles 10/05/06

We should mention that GamePolitics editor Dennis McCauley writes a column on video games for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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