An examination of violence on television and its effects on aggressive behavior in children

Do kids and adults like it?

An examination of violence on television and its effects on aggressive behavior in children

An examination of violence on television and its effects on aggressive behavior in children

Boys were 3 times more aggressive than girls. It is of interest that the gender preferences were not associated with violent content. For example, Superman had 69 points compared to Little Mermaid 1, which had points; Spiderman had points compared to Beauty and the Beast, which had points; and Power Rangers had 90 points compared to Little Mermaid 2, which had points.

The boys and girls equally viewed Sponge Bob Square Pants, which had relatively low violent content. Analysis and Discussion Watching media violence is associated with aggressive behavior in preschool children. For example, if a child had an object that a second child wanted, the second child would hit or shove the first child and then take the object.

A remarkable observation was of a boy who was identified as having low self-regulation. This child wanted to ride a tricycle that another child was riding. Rather than waiting for his turn, as the teacher had asked, he took the tricycle, waiting until the teacher had turned her back and then intentionally pushing the other child off the tricycle and onto the ground.

He then rode off, leaving the other child on the ground protesting. It is also important to know whether exposure to media violence is a form of traumatic stress that causes fear in young children, who lack the cognitive maturity to reflect upon or to understand such experiences.

Violence, Media Effects, and Criminology - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology

A perpetuated fearful state may distort sensory perceptions. It seems to trigger activity in parts of the brain associated with interpreting threatening social cues. This theory may explain why the children in this study with low self-regulation scores became highly reactive and had great difficulty managing their own arousal, unable to self-regulate their negative and aggressive behavior in play.

Self-regulation is an early developmental task that lays the foundation for inhibiting behavior and managing emotions in later life. Without the capacity to self-regulate, it is difficult for children to refrain from acting out in situations that trigger negative arousal.

A notable finding was a boy who had very limited self-regulation and received high ratings for overall aggression. He generally wandered the playground aimlessly. At one point in the observation, he hit every child in his path and kicked and yelled at the teacher.

This lack of engagement may lead to specific deficits in self-regulation. Environmental forces that are germane to mediating interactions encourage the development of autonomous regulation. This finding may also explain why children who watched violent programming alone were more than twice as verbally aggressive as those who watched it with their parents.

It is also possible that self-regulation becomes more challenging for a child when parents are less actively involved with the child and that leaving a young child to watch violent programming alone is evidence of lower overall involvement.

Television violence: Do kids (and adults) like it?

To what extent do children who watch violent programming alone have parents who do not know or do not notice what children are watching or who simply do not think it is important? The findings contribute valuable information to media violence research. It was necessary to examine simultaneous multiple variables.

Most research on media violence has investigated single-effect relationships Tobin, In examining simultaneous multiple variables using a more robust multiple regression analysis, we found that poor self-regulation and male gender were strong predictors of overall aggressive behavior, independent of watching media violence.So it seems the link between content and behavior reflects more than a tendency for aggressive children to seek out aggressive media.

In many cases, exposure to television violence appears to precede changes in attitudes and behavior. television programming and its effects on children and agrees with the Surgeon General that there is “strong evidence” that exposure to media violence can increase aggressive behavior in children.

While media violence exposure may have short-term effects on adults, its negative impact on children is enduring. As this study suggests, early exposure to TV violence places both male and female children at risk for the development of .


Being a victim of cyberbullying was directly associated with both cyberbullying and aggressive behavior and indirectly associated with cyberbullying via aggressive behaviors. Examination of peer-group contextual effects on aggression during early adolescence.

Living with television: The violence profile. The portrayal of violence, sex, and drugs/alcohol in the media has been known to adversely affect the behavior of children and adolescents. There is a strong association between perceptions of media messages and observed behavior, especially with children.

Oct 25,  · The report also held that a precise cause — and — effect relationship between televised violence and aggressive behavior had yet to be proved, and it asserted that parental supervision was.

Growing Up With Media: Exposure to violent material - CiPHR