Here are some factors that might be contributing to the rise of violent behaviour among young people.
- Many children and young people are not getting the right amount of sleep. The part of our mind that sets limits, thinks through consequences and weighs up options, the pre-frontal cortex, needs rest to be able to function properly. To see how much sleep children need, go to www.sleepeducation.net.au
- There is growing evidence of a link between the amount of time people spend in front of screens and attention problems. And fast-paced games are linked to impulsive aggression, that is, aggression that occurs almost automatically without thinking about whether it should be carried out. To read more go to http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130804081115.htm Research just released from the USA states that people who play violent video games lose their ability to premeditate. This means that violent gaming decreases their ability to ‘catch’ themselves before reacting. To read the full article go to http://www.spsp.org/?PressRelease_2Aug13
- The online games of today are more graphic and, in some cases, more realistic than games of past years. These games frequently put the player in the active role of a character who makes decisions and commits violence. The player of the game is involved at a psychological level in killings, rapes, assaults and other criminal activity. We don’t actually know the full impact of this exposure, especially on developing brains, but it is likely to be desensitising players to violence and, to some extent, normalising violent behaviour.