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Gaming in the Game of Love: Effects of Video Games on Conflict in Couples

Authors


  • Brigham Young University, School of Family Life, JFSB 2086C, Provo, UT 84602.

  • The Ohio State University, School of Communication, 3127 Derby Hall, 154 N Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210.

  • Iowa State University, Department of Psychology, W202 Lagomarcino Hall, Ames, IA 50011.

  • Brigham Young University, Department of Psychology, SWKT 1034, Provo, UT 84602.

  • Brigham Young University, School of Family Life, JFSB 2080, Provo, UT 84602.

Brigham Young University, School of Family Life, JFSB 2087, Provo, UT 84602 (smcoyne@byu.edu).

Abstract

The current study assessed how playing video games can influence conflict and aggression in relationships. A sample of 1,333 heterosexual couples reported their video game playing habits, conflict regarding the media, and physical and relational aggression (both self and partner directed). Results showed that for men (but not women), time spent playing video games was associated with increased conflict over the amount of time spent using media, as well as the content of those media. Conflict over the media, in turn, was associated with increased physical and relational aggression in the relationship. Thus, conflict over the media offers one explanation for why video game play may increase aggression in romantic relationships.

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