Aggressive Behavior Mediating the Relationship between Peer Norms and Adolescent Violent Video Game Engagement
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Due to the possible negative effects of violent video games (VVG) on adolescents research has begun to focus on possible predictors of VVG engagement. Up until now, most research has focused on individual factors. However, there are scientific indications that environmental factors should also be studied. Driven by the little amount of research on the role of peers in relation to adolescent media behavior, this study was designed to investigate the indirect relationship of descriptive and injunctive peer norms on aggressive behavior. Within this relationship the individual’s aggressive behavior was studied as possible mediator. Using data from a panel study with 943 adolescents, aged 10 to 14 years, regression analyses tested whether descriptive and injunctive peer norms are indirectly, via the individual’s aggressive behavior, related to adolescent VVG engagement. Results suggest an indirect relationship for both types of peer norms on adolescent VVG engagement. These findings provide an addition to the existing research on environmental predictors of adolescent media behavior and practical implications.