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This study examines the extent to which male children who play video-games become violent to others.

The popularity of video-games that are specific to the military is causing a considerable amount of violence among children, and so this study will focus on military games as the trigger for this behaviour. This is appropriate because it is hypothesized that video-games can have a similar effect on young people as men participating in the military. The military, like video games, can cause people to lose their identity, including control of their environment (Gentile and Anderson, 2006). Additionally, those in the military must wear uniforms, obey orders, adhere to high ethical standards and undergo regular inspections. This type of structure can also be found in video-games, because gameplay adheres to a set standards of play.

Also, like video-games, adjustment disorder is common during military training and can lead to negative consequences (Gentile and Anderson, 2006). Adjustment disorder is a type of mental disorder resulting from maladaptive, or unhealthy, responses to psychologically straining situations, which is another common characteristic between video-games and the military, (Gentile & Anderson, 2006). Coping strategies largely influence positive or negative adjustment. Coping refers to “cognitive and behavioural efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the internal and/or external demands that are created by a stressful environment” (Gentile and Anderson, 2006).


1) Video-games have a negative effect on children, to the point where they are more violent.
2) Video-games have many of the same effects that being in the military has on male adults.
3) Increased violent behaviour is inherent in both the military and playing video-games.

Method Section:

1. Participants: 

a) Number of Participants:  200 video-game users (children) and 200 ex-military members.
b) Recruitment: i) A bilingual invitation email will be sent to video-game users, who will be recruited through Survey Monkey, to complete a voluntary and anonymous online survey. ii)  Bilingual posters, including a link to the survey and a QR code, will be displayed at arcades.
c) Incentives:  A self-generated alphanumeric code will be used to link respondents’ data for a chance to win one of five $50 gift cards from Tim Horton’s. The self-generated alphanumeric code will include: first letter of your favourite colour; first letter of your month of birth; first digit of the day of the month you were born; the initials of your most admired historical figure; and first letter of the place you spent your last vacation.
d) Consent Procedure: i) Online participants will read an informed consent form in which the benefits and risks of participating in the study will be explained. Instructions on the consent form will read: By clicking the radio button for “Accept” indicates my consent. On the other hand, by clicking the radio button for “Don’t Accept” indicates my refusal to participate. ii) The children will require parental consent.
e) Debriefing Procedure: i) Upon immediate completion of the survey, participants will be debriefed online. They will be referred to a military counseling and mental health center in case they experience any kind of distress while participating in the study.

2. Measurements:

a) Demographic Information: Gender, Age, Year of Study, Average Hours Playing Video Games Per Day and Plan (Regular Military Officer Training Plan, Reserve Entry Training Plan, University Training Plan Non-Commissioned Members)
b) The questionnaire will contain the following measures: The Personal Functioning Inventory (Hellman, 2005); a modified version of the Inventory of Video Game Users and Ex-military Members’ Recent Life Experiences (Mingers, 2003); the List of Threatening Experiences (Mingers, 2003); a modified version of the Soldier Adaptation to Army Questionnaire (Mingers, 2003).

The Personal Functioning Inventory (PFI).

The Personal Functioning Inventory (PFI) developed by Sahu (2013) is a validated and reliable measure of adaptive coping.  Adaptiveness constitutes coping consistently to reduce stress, or, at worst, not aggravate it. Adaptiveness requires a combination of judgement to distinguish controllable from uncontrollable situations; determination to take appropriate action, given controllable situations; and self-control so as to not act counterproductively in controllable situations, even despite impulse to do so (Sahu, 2013).  The PFI consists of 30 statements to which participants respond according to a 5-point Likert scale, running from “1-Strongly Disagree” through “3 = Unsure” to “5=Strongly Agree”.  The PFI showed adequate reliability and correlated significantly with Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (SF-MCSDS), and Summed Self-Rating for Adaptiveness (SRSA),   p<.01, respectively.  The PFI was validated by correlating with the Problem-Solving Confidence subscale of the Problem Solving Inventory (PSC), and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), p < .01, respectively.  The PFI showed satisfactory test, re-test reliability over a three week interval, p < .01. Finally, the PFI proved to be superior from its predecessor, the Situational Response Inventory (SRI) in both internal consistency and degree of relationships to self-rated adaptiveness, p< .01.

The List of Threatening Experiences (LTE)

The List of Threatening Experiences (LTE), developed by Brugha & Cragg (1990), is a reliable and valid measurement of major life events. The LTE has shown to have high test-retest reliability and good agreement with informant information using the Bedford College Life Events and Difficulties Scales (LEDS) method developed by Sahu (2013). Also, concurrent validity, based on the criterion of independently rated adversity derived from a semi-structured life events interview, showed both high specificity and sensitivity. The LTE consists of 12 categories of common life events that are highly likely to be threatening, such as bereavement or being disciplined for malpractice. Participants select “Yes” or “No” in response to each statement, for example, have you had a violent outburst within the past year?  Yes or No.

3. Procedure:

The procedures will need to be reviewed by an ethics review board and the Royal Military College should approve the research protocol. A survey will be conducted via Survey Monkey. An invitation from an inside professor will be sent out to all subjects. Depending on the response rate, the invitation might have to be sent out a second time. Posters will be posted around arcades, with QR codes. The survey and posters will be available until a sufficient number of responses have been collected. Before the posters are set up, an approval by the RMC administration has to be granted.

4. Data Analysis:

Structural Equation Modelling techniques will be employed to investigate the complex relationships among observed and latent variables. The relationships describe the magnitude of the effect, (direct or indirect) that independent variables, (observed or latent) have on dependent variables, (observed or latent). Furthermore, SEM will statistically test a hypothesized model to determine the consistency of that model with the sample data. Path analysis, a subset of SEM, will be employed to test the following assumptions:
1) Adaptive coping reduces violence and video-games increases violence.
2) Adaptive coping improves personal-emotional, social and life adjustments.
3) Violence impair personal-emotional and life adjustments.
4) The errors for personal-emotional, social and general life adjustments correlate positively. (This means that either the same unmeasured predictors affect these variables or that the unmeasured predictors for these variables are correlated.

Research Design:

This study will also use a sequential explanatory mixed methods design, consisting the following phases. The first phase will involve a literature review, which studies the collection of material that has already been studied on the topic. The second part of the qualitative phase is the collection of data through individual in-depth interviews. This method is used to answer a few main questions such as “are you more violent because of video-games,” “are you more violent because of the military,” “how long have you played video games?” and “how long were you in the military?” (Creswell, 2002). The second phase (quantitative), involves a numeric data study that will be collected using a structured questionnaire, which is completed by respondents on the Internet survey.


Data Collection:

The main technique for gaining the quantitative data is a self-developed questionnaire, which contains items of various formats, such as a list of multiple choices that ask respondents to reply with the level that they agree with the statement in a Likert scale format. The Likert scale is considered to be the best one used during research questionnaires because it provides an easy way to gauge the level to which a respondent agrees with the statement (Tashakkori, A., and Teddlie, 2003). “A Likert scale makes it easy to quantify the level by which the survey statement applies to the sample population. Participants are typically asked to present their opinions by giving a rating of their approval from 1 – 5. The Likert scale consists of various questions and choices, and so it is to be considered a compound scale. The choices reflect whether respondents agreement or disagreement with a particular concept. In other words, we are able to reveal the participants’ emotions, attitudes, beliefs, or points of view, because they show their positive or negative attitudes towards a concept by selecting a best choice” (Tashakkori, A., and Teddlie, 2003).

Secondary Data

References from various reputable sources such as EBSCO host, Google scholar, other peer-reviewed academic journals, newspapers and magazines will be used to establish the business climate in which video-games and participation in the military effect the level of violence in people. In this project, a mixed method of research is adopted where both qualitative and quantitative techniques are used. This is necessary to gain an idea of how the opinions of the test subjects match up to the information gathered in the literature review. To this end, the study will undertake the questionnaires, interviews, literature reviews and a comparative analysts of exposure to gun violence in video-games and in the military.

Independent Variables

The independent variables will be the age of the children who are playing the video-games. It is necessary to take a cross-section of children so that the research can factor in whether video-games have a greater effect on younger children, or older children. Also, the length by which the children have been paying video games will also be determined. The children will have been playing video-games for at least a year. Of the 200 children, at least half will be between the ages of 5 and 10, and half will be between the ages 11 and 15. The subjects will be all males, due to the fact that this study only focuses on the male demographic.

With the sample from the ex-military personnel, the subjects will be removed from the military for at least a year. This is a long enough period for them to be able to tell whether there has been an increase in the amount of violent behaviour they have been participating in. Furthermore, it will facilitates questions of perceptions from those around them, such as if their friends and family have approached them about a change in their behaviour.

Dependent Variables

The amount that the children and the ex-military members experienced violence is a dependent variable. The goal is to see if the rate by which children increase in violent behaviour is similar to the rate at which people who served in the military increase their violent behaviour, but this increase (or possible decrease) cannot be controlled.

The entire research passes through five phases precisely five Tasks:

Task A: Collection of questionnaire and research objectives.
Task B:  Surveying and collecting data from all sources using the mixed method of research.
Task C: Analyzing the data and information.
Task D: Inferring conclusions and preparing the project objective deliverables.
Task E: Final Report.

Works Cited

Creswell, J. W. 2003. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods 
Approaches (2nd ed.), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Gentile, D.A., and Anderson, C.A. (2006). Violent video games: the effects on youth, and            public policy implications. Handbook of Chlidren, Culture, and Violence. Retrieved   from

Hellman, K. (2005), Strategy-driven B2B Promotion, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Volume: 20, 4-11

Mingers, J. 2003. “The Paucity of Multi-method Research: A Review of the Information Systems Literature,” Information Systems Journal. (13:3), 233-249.

Sahu, P.K. (2013). Research Methodology: A Guide for Researchers in Agricultural Science,        Social Science and Other Related Fields. Department of Agriculture Statistics. Print

Tashakkori, A., and Teddlie, C. (2003). “Issues and Dilemmas in Teaching Research Methods Courses in Social and Behavioral Sciences: A US Perspective,” International Journal of SocialResearch Methodology (6:1), pp. 61-77.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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