Download PDF Abstract Exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents. Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed. Pediatricians and other child health care providers can advocate for a safer media environment for children by encouraging media literacy, more thoughtful and proactive use of media by children and their parents, more responsible portrayal of violence by media producers, and more useful and effective media ratings. Office counseling has been shown to be effective.
Media effects theories[ edit ] Social learning theory[ edit ] Social learning theory originated with Bandura's which suggests that children may learn aggression from viewing others.
Bandura presented children with an Aggressive Model: The model played with 'harmless' tinker toys for a minute or so but then progressed onto the Bobo doll, the model lay the Bobo doll down and was violent towards it; punched its nose, hit it with a mallet, tossed it in the air, and kicked it.
In addition, verbal comments were made in relation. The findings of this experiment suggest that children tended to model the behavior they witnessed in the video.
This has been often taken to imply that children may imitate aggressive behaviors witnessed in media. However, Bandura's experiments have been criticized e.
Gauntlett, on several grounds. First, it is difficult to generalize from aggression toward a bo-bo doll which is intended to be hit to person-on-person violence.
Secondly, it may be possible that the children were motivated simply to please the experimenter rather than to be aggressive. In other words, the children may have viewed the videos as instructions, rather than incentives to feel more aggressive. Third, in a latter study Bandura included a condition in which the adult model was punished for hitting the bo-bo doll by himself being physically punished.
Specifically the adult was pushed down in the video by the experimenter and hit with a newspaper while being berated. This actual person-on-person violence actually decreased aggressive acts in the children, probably due to vicarious reinforcement. Nonetheless these last results indicate that even young children don't automatically imitate aggression, but rather consider the context of aggression.
Given that some scholars estimate that children's viewing of violence in media is quite common, concerns about media often follow social learning theoretical approaches.
The concept of desensitization has particularly gotten much interest from the scholarly community and general public. It is theorized that with repeated exposure to media violence, a psychological saturation or emotional adjustment takes place such that initial levels of anxiety and disgust diminish or weaken.
They were then asked to watch a minute video of real life violence. The students who had played the violent video games were observed to be significantly less affected by a simulated aggressive act than those who didn't play the violent video games.
However the degree to which the simulation was "believable" to the participants, or to which the participants may have responded to "demand characteristics" is unclear see criticisms below.
Nonetheless, social cognitive theory was arguably the most dominant paradigm of media violence effects for many years, although it has come under recent criticism e. Freedman, ; Savage, Recent scholarship has suggested that social cognitive theories of aggression are outdated and should be retired.
The catalyst model is a new theory and has not been tested extensively. According to the catalyst model, violence arises from a combination of genetic and early social influences family and peers in particular. According to this model, media violence is explicitly considered a weak causal influence.
Specific violent acts are "catalyzed" by stressful environment circumstances, with less stress required to catalyze violence in individuals with greater violence predisposition. Some early work has supported this view e.
Recent research with inmates has, likewise, provided support for the catalyst model. Moral panic theory[ edit ] A final theory relevant to this area is the moral panic. Elucidated largely by David Gauntlett this theory postulates that concerns about new media are historical and cyclical.
In this view, a society forms a predetermined negative belief about a new medium—typically not used by the elder and more powerful members of the society.Early research on the effects of viewing violence on television — especially among children — found a desensitizing effect and the potential for aggression.
that “the evidence strongly suggests that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, and aggressive affect. ObjectivesTo test whether the results of the accumulated studies on media violence and aggressive behavior are consistent with the theories that have evolved to Short-term and Long-term Effects of Violent Media on Aggression in Children and Adults.
Paik HComstock G The effects of television violence on antisocial behavior.
"You turn on the television, and violence is there. You go to a movie, and violence is there." mass shooting at a Batman movie screening in Colorado has reignited debates in the psychiatric community about media violence and its effects on human behavior.
Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research. Drea Christopher is a freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in English. She has more than 10 years of experience producing features and SEO articles for national consumer publications, trade magazines and industry leading Web content providers.
To work through aggressive behavior, you need to identify its underlying causes. It may help to talk to someone about experiences that make you feel aggressive. A number of studies support all three types of effects of television violence on children and adults.
A few classic studies described below illustrate the evidence. directly produces aggressive behavior.
Children and adults who are aggressive for other of a program designed to stimulate discussion about television violence and its impact.