Project Description

Nurturing Young Minds

Edited by Dr Ramesh Manocha & Gyongyi Horvath
To read the full chapter go to Volume 2, chapter 12, pp. 177-192.


Dr Wayne Warburton

Deputy Director ,Children and Families Research Centre, Macquarie University

Dr Wayne Warburton is a senior lecturer in developmental psychology and Deputy Director of the Children and Families Research Centre at Macquarie University. Wayne is also a registered psychologist and has a strong research interest in the fields of aggressive behaviour, media psychology and parenting. He has a number of publications in scientific journals and books, primarily on topics around aggressive behaviour and the impact of violent and prosocial media. He is co-author of the International Society for Research on Aggression Statement on Media Violence, the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues Research Summary on Media Violence, and the world experts’ Statement on Violent Video Game Violence in the ‘Gruel Amicus Curiae Brief’ for the US Supreme Court case of California vs. Entertainment Merchants. His most recent book, Growing Up Fast and Furious: Reviewing the Impacts of Violent and Sexualised Media on Children (with Danya Braunstein), is available from The Federation Press.

Multi-billion-dollar industries such as advertising, Hollywood, television, educational media and training simulators all work on the basic premise that screen-based activities can change the way people think, feel and behave. Research shows that this is also the case for violent video games, which are linked to increased aggression, desensitisation to violence, hostile thoughts and feelings, and decreases in prosocial behaviour and empathy. The secret to managing video game play is aspiring to a healthy media diet: moderation in amount, preferential exposure to helpful content and taking the age of the child into account.

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Australian Council on Children and Media:

Centre on Media and Child Health:

Common Sense Media:

Distinguished Professor Craig Anderson, world-leading video game violence researcher:

Anderson, CA, Shibuya, A, Ihori, N, Swing, EL, Bushman, BJ, Sakamoto, A, Rothstein, HR & Saleem, M, 2010, ‘Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in Eastern and Western countries’, Psychological Bulletin 136, pp 151–173.

Greitemeyer, T & Mugge, DO, 2014, ‘Video games do affect social outcomes: A metaanalytic review of the effects of violent and prosocial video game play’, Personality and Social Psycholog y Bulletin 40, pp 578–589, DOI: 10.1177/0146167213520459

Manocha, R (Ed), 2017, Growing Happy, Healthy Young Minds: Generation Next, Hachette Australia, Sydney

Warburton, WA & Highfield, K, 2016, ‘Children and technology in a smart device world’ in Grace, R, Hodge, K & McMahon, C (Eds), Children, Families and Communities: Contexts and consequences (5th edition), Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp 195–221.

Warburton, WA & Straker, L, 2015, ‘Ten Tips for Healthy Game Play’, Australian Council on Children and the Media Fact Sheet, retrieved from:

Warburton, WA, 2014, ‘Apples, oranges and the burden of proof: Putting media violence findings in context’, European Psychologist 19, pp 60–67. DOI:10.1027/1016-9040/a000166.

Warburton, WA, 2013, ‘The science of violent entertainments’ in Wild, J (Ed), Exploiting Childhood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, pp 65–85.

Warburton, WA & Braunstein, D (Eds), 2012, Growing Up Fast and Furious: Reviewing the impact of violent and sexualised media on children, The Federation Press, Sydney.

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