Self-transcendence and Self-oriented Perspective as Mediators between Video game Playing and Aggressive Behaviour in Teenagers

Authors


Pablo Espinosa, Universidad de La Coruña, Campus de Elviña, Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación, Departamento de Psicología, 15076, La Coruña, Spain.

E-mail: pespinosa@udc.es

ABSTRACT

The present study examines the mediating effect of self-transcendence and a self-oriented perspective on the relationship between general video game playing and aggressive antisocial behaviour in a sample of 659 Spanish teenagers of both sexes aged 12 to 18 years (mean age = 15.31 years). Results show that there is a direct effect of the amount of video game playing on aggression, even when violent content is controlled for. Self-transcendence and a self-oriented perspective mediate this effect on aggression. These findings are in agreement with the hypothesis that the effects of media on behaviour are related to the socialisation pattern and role-taking opportunities they offer, and not only due to the mere exposure to violent media. Consistent with the time displacement hypothesis, an interpretation of our results may be that the relationship between video game playing and antisocial behaviour comes from a deficit of social interaction and role-taking opportunities. Not being able to adopt the perspective of others may result in a limited ability to predict the consequences of behaviour and understand the needs, desires, and intentions of others. This social perspective deficit may increase the chances of behaving antisocially through different processes. For instance, an individual may use aggressive behavioural patterns in the absence of a more elaborate behavioural repertoire, or the failure in predicting the effects of an aggressive behaviour may reduce the perception of its consequences. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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