The research has found that young people who played more violent video games and watched more brutal TV shows shared a particular gene.
They found that children with the particular gene variant were far more likely to watch violent TV shows and play games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty.
Previous studies have shown that children are in part influenced by what their parents watch. However, this is the first study to look at the possible genetic influence of what children choose to watch.
Experts believe a variation in a serotonin transporter gene may cause children to enjoy violent media. And the same children have a higher likelihood of suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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. The studt stresses the importance to study the relationship between media use and ADHD-related behaviours.
Researchers also found that children with an autism spectrum disorder or ADHD are at an increased risk of gaming addictions, compared to children without the disabilities.