Violent kids: parents are being attacked by game-addicted children

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

If your kids play hours and hours of video games every day, their brains are likely absorbing images of violence. These images are becoming engrained into their minds and after a time, can change the way they act, the way they process normal life issues, and the way they interact with you as parents. If your child has become addicted to their game console and you try taking it away from them, you may have experienced threats from them, and sometimes even threats of violence.

A well-known study by Craig Anderson and Brad Bushman looked at the effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior and social behavior, and found that excessive exposure to television, movie, or video game violence can lead to increased aggressive behavior and antisocial tendencies. In addition, repeat exposure to violent video games can lead to aggressive thoughts, feelings and physiological arousal. The study also discusses how repeated day-to-day observations and interactions, including those both real and imagined (such as those in video games) teach our brain to learn.  Each violent episode on television or on video games becomes a learning process and one that allows the brain to build structures, which ultimately become complex, differentiated, and very hard to change – especially after repeated exposure time and time again. (1)

A recent article published in the Daily Star Sunday in the UK talks about Oliver Clarke, who runs an addiction counseling service.  Clarke sometimes gets up to 10 calls a day from parents that are concerned about their children’s gaming addiction. Some of these parents with children as young as 11 years old are being attacked by their children when their parents cut-off their media source.  Others are so violent that they threaten their parents with knives. (2)

Have you experienced threats of violence from your children if you take away their gaming consoles, televisions, or laptops? If so, consider talking to an addiction specialist that is familiar with video game addiction. Video game addiction and the violence that stems from this addiction are very real. Protect yourself as well as your child from potential harm and seek help immediately if you are feeling threatened or in danger of violence.

By Brooke Strickland


  1. 1. Anderson, Craig; Bushman, Brad. “Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature.” Physiological Science. Iowa State University. Volume 12, No. 5, September 2001. Accessed November 10, 2013.
  2. 2. Young, Matthew. “Parents attacked by video game addict children.” Daily Star Sunday. November 6, 2013. Accessed November 10, 2013.