9 Jul 2022


Moral Reasoning in Adolescence

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Academic level: College

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Concerns have been raised about the exposure of children to violent media. Researchers have expressed concern about the potential harm these violent portrayals might have on the kids. Adolescence is a stage in life where significant changes in moral development take place. A video game genre refers to a particular type or classification of video games. Subsequently, violent video games can be described as the depictions of or simulations of human on human violence in which a player kills or causes serious physical injuries to other humans for example maiming or mutilation of the body parts. Previous studies have shown that children who spend more time watching violence programs exhibit aggressive behavior. Similarly, there is fear that media violence may influence the children’s moral development. For instance, they cannot differentiate between fantasy violence and that seen in more realistic television shows. 

The purpose of the research was to determine whether there was a relationship between violent video gaming and moral reasoning in adolescents. The study was carried out in Ontario, Canada. The participants were 109 grade 8 students, 61 boys and 48 girls aged between 13 and 14. All these were drawn from seven public schools ( Bajovic, 2013). The study involved the self-reporting of the students. The questionnaire method was used by the researchers to collect relevant data, and each survey contained 21 questions which were to determine the participants ‘video game playing patterns and habits. The questions were both closed and open-ended as well as Likert scale. Some of the issues analyzed were how often the participants played video games, their favorite video games and which games they played more often. With the results obtained, it was easier to determine the violent and non-violent group of video game players. The study used the sociomoral reflection objective measure short form (SRM-SF) model to determine the real effects of the video games on the adolescents. 

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Quantitative data collected from the self-reporting questionnaire was entered and analyzed in sing the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS).To determine the participant's video game playing habits and patterns, a detailed statistical procedure was employed with the aim of making the data set brief. Further, to know the time the participants spent on video games, a complete statistics of frequency tabulation and distribution was performed. Additionally, to determine the relationship between the participants’ time on video games and the SRMS scores, the bivarite correlation procedure was implemented. Lastly, the independent samples T –test was carried out to establish if the participants in the violent video game playing group were different from the hours spent daily on the games. 

The results were organized in two separate ways. For instance, the first type of results was based on the questioning the adolescent's video game playing habits and patterns.here,88% of the adolescents reported not to have played video games whereas 12 % declared never to have done so. Still, 54% of the kids said playing games for approximately 3 hours each day ( Triberti, et.al, 2015). For those who played the video games daily, 19 % were adolescents. 28% of the respondents claimed to play the games for two hours few times in a month while 29% reported playing for one hour only during weekends. In general, 54 percent of the adolescents played video games between one to three hours daily. The second type of results was based on whether there was a relationship between adolescent’s violent and non-violent video playing habits and patterns on the level of their mature reasoning. In essence, there was no correlation between the playing hours although there was a significant difference between the times the adolescents spent on the game daily. 

From our classroom integration, we determined that video games can or not affect the moral development of adolescents. However, the amounts of influence can eventually become drastic if the teenager becomes too attached to the video games as a result affect his or her moral development on how to deal with real violent situations. In agreement with other researchers, playing video games can influence teenagers who in their quest to identify with their peers or demonstrate an advantage, may want to apply what they saw when playing the games to real life. 

Nonetheless, the research was well done because it helped in making a reader understand the dynamics of video games, especially those showing violence ( Gunter, 2016) the participants were in the right age bracket and from their responses, we can relate the results to other adolescents and how the video games might affect their development. So, this topic is important because it helps both educators and parents as well as the teens to change their perspective games. As such, parents can find it easier in deciding how best to limit the time the kid spend on the video games. The educators will understand why students have aggressive tendencies in school or why they won’t concentrate in class. Lastly, the adolescents will understand that to some extent, playing the violent video games can affect their moral development in this crucial time of their lives. However, they are encouraged to take such games as a form of entertainment or shift to other games which don’t include violence such as football. 


Bajovic, M. (2013). Violent video gaming and moral reasoning in adolescents: is there an association? Educational media international , 50 (3), 177-191. Retrieved from http http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09523987.2013.836367 

Gunter, B. (2016). Can Video Games Influence Levels of Real Violence? In Does Playing Video Games Make Players More Violent? (pp. 147-164). Palgrave Macmillan UK. 

Triberti, S., Villani, D., & Riva, G. (2015). Moral positioning in video games and its relation with dispositional traits: The emergence of a social dimension. Computers in Human Behavior , 50 , 1-8. 



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