Gene driving your kid watch violence on TV

Thursday, 20 February 2014 - 1:18pm IST | Agency: IANS

Is you teenage kid hooked to watching bloodbath on TV or playing violent video games? Blame in on genes.

A recent paper has found that a specific variation of the serotonin-transporter gene is linked to children who engaged in increased viewing of violent TV and playing such video games.

The results indicate that children's violent media use is partly influenced by genetic factors.

"This could mean that children with this gene variant are more likely to seek out stimulating activities, such as violent television viewing and video game playing," explained Sanne Nikkelen of University of Amsterdam's school of communication research in the Netherlands.

It is important to study the relationship between media use and Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related behaviours.

Children who show increased ADHD-related behaviours often face peer and academic difficulties and are at increased risk for substance abuse. Examining factors that may contribute to the development of these behaviours is essential, added co-author Helen Vossen from University of Amsterdam.

They analysed survey data of 1,612 parents of Dutch children aged 5-9.

The parents noted how much violent TV programming their children viewed, as well as how often they played violent video games.

DNA samples collected at the children's birth were then analysed to determine a certain gene variant - the serotonin-transporter gene, said the study published in the Journal of Communication.

This study is the first to specifically examine violent media content and to examine a specific gene variant.


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