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Violent Media and Children. Luke Pinion, M.S.E. University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. Media Violence History. Historical concern Increased with Bandura’s work Social Learning Theory Surgeon General’s S cientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior formed (1969)

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violent media and children

Violent Media and Children

Luke Pinion, M.S.E.

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

media violence history
Media Violence History
  • Historical concern
    • Increased with Bandura’s work
      • Social Learning Theory
  • Surgeon General’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior formed (1969)
  • APA passed resolution (1985)
    • Informed public of dangers
media violence history cont
Media Violence History (cont.)
  • Children’s Television Act (1990)
    • New regulations for TV stations
    • Updated again in 1996
  • APA’s Task Force on TV and Society (1992)
media popularity
Media & Popularity
  • A typical child in the U.S.
    • Watches 28 hours of TV a week
      • Watches 8,000 murders by the end of elementary school
      • 75% of these murderers get away with it
      • No remorse or accountability
    • 40+ hours a week using some type of media
    • 1-7.5 hours a day playing video games
      • Age dependent
violence in today s media
Violence in Today’s Media
  • Prevalence of violence inmedia
    • 70% of prime time programs
      • 5 violent incidents per hour
    • 90% of children’s programming
      • Upwards of 20 violent incidents per hour
    • 80% of cable programs contained violence
      • Varied considerably by channel type
violence in today s media1
Violence in Today’s Media
  • Portrayal
    • Glamorized
    • Sanitized
    • Trivialized
    • Antiviolence themes rare
why is violence so attractive
Why is Violence So Attractive?
  • Desire for excitement
    • 13% of students
  • Desire for virtual experience of aggression
    • Empathy effect
    • Pleasure from violence
  • Opportunity to ignore restrictions
    • “Forbidden fruit”
why is violence so attractive1
Why is Violence So Attractive?
  • Relatable
    • Understand violence in society
    • Aggressive youth like to watch programs portraying similar characteristics
  • Study criminal world
    • Learn lessons
      • Alternate ways?
  • Complacency
    • Escape fears and problems
  • The effect of gender
    • “aggression effect”
sensitivity
Sensitivity
  • The effects of violent entertainment are complex and varied
    • Individual characteristics
    • Age
    • Amount of exposure
risk factors
Risk Factors
  • Increase the likelihood of being affected by media violence
    • High TV viewers
    • Unpopular children
    • Lessintelligent children
    • Low SES
    • Low parental supervision
risk factors1
Risk Factors
  • Increase the likelihood of aggression
    • Environmental
      • Low SES
      • Parenting style
      • Lack of parental affection
      • Drug use
      • Attitudes and beliefs supporting aggression
    • Physiological
      • Temperament
      • Impulsivity
      • Hormone disorders
behavioral effects of media violence
Behavioral Effects of Media Violence
  • Increase impulsivity
  • Encourages a lack of concern/empathy for human suffering
  • Justifies real-life violence
  • Imitation of violent

behavior

  • Decrease in academic

performance

  • Aggressive thoughts

and actions

psychological effects of media violence
Psychological Effects of Media Violence
  • Desensitization
  • Increases in hostility
  • Less trust
  • Fear
  • Indifference
social effects of media violence
Social Effects of Media Violence
  • Encourages the idea that violence is an acceptable way to solve social conflicts
  • Gender Stereotypes

Encouraged

violent video games
Violent Video Games
  • Worse than violent TV?
    • Identification with aggressor
    • Active participation
    • Addictive nature
      • Reinforcing to play
violent video games1
Violent Video Games
  • Can increase
    • Aggressive thoughts
    • Aggressivefeelings
    • Aggressive behavior
  • Predictor of delinquent behaviors
  • Possible decrease in academic performance
music popularity
Music Popularity
  • Importance to youth
    • Survey of middle and high school students
    • Average of 21 hours per week listening
    • Gender differences
    • Ethnic differences
  • Affective uses
    • Gender differences
  • Social uses
  • Changes over the decades
violent music
Violent Music
  • Heavy metal
    • High in violent and sexual themes
    • Listeners (in comparison)
      • Conflict with teachers
      • Perform less well academically
      • Distant from families
      • Risky behavior
      • Depression
violent music lyrics
Violent Music Lyrics
  • Increases
    • Hostile attitudes
    • Aggressive thoughts
    • Aggressive emotions
    • Adversarial sexual beliefs
  • Emotional “sound” vs. lyrics
  • Effects not as strong as visual media
    • Violent music videos much more powerful
media violence long term effects
Media ViolenceLong-Term Effects
  • Studies in the 1960’s
    • Long-term effects only for boys
  • Current research
    • Longitudinal study (Huesmann et al., 2003)
      • Increased aggression as adults
      • Antisocial and violent behaviors
parental monitoring
Parental Monitoring
  • Variability
    • Sociodemographics
  • Many set limits but don’t enforce
    • Lack of supervision
    • No way of monitoring
    • TVs everywhere
    • Lack of concern
  • 45% co-view with child
parental monitoring1
Parental Monitoring
  • Monitoring decreases with child’s age
    • Older child = less monitoring
  • Limiting exposure more common among mothers
  • 61% of children 8 years and older had no rules about TV watching (Kaiser Family Foundation Report)
positive effects of television music and video games
Positive Effects of Television, Music, and Video Games
  • Play
  • Promote
    • Literacy
    • Thinking
    • Reflecting
    • Creativity
  • Educational/academic purposes
    • Teaching
    • Learning
  • Academic performance
positive effects of television music and video games1
Positive Effects of Television, Music, and Video Games
  • Motor skills
    • Hand-eye coordination
  • Learn prosocial behaviors
  • General development
  • Teaching
  • Collaboration
  • Fantasy
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Reduce/limit exposure
    • V-chip
    • Set limits/rules with child and enforce
  • Parental co-viewing and commenting
    • Discuss content with child
    • Increase father involvement
  • Monitor
    • Is this ok for their age, personality, maturity, developmental level?
recommendations cont
Recommendations (cont.)
  • Screen all music/game/movie purchases
  • Be familiar with the rating scales
  • Promote positive/educational media
    • Use media productions to change violent attitudes
  • Promote media literacy regarding media violence
    • Media Literacy Interventions
  • Awareness of risk factors
    • Is your child/student more susceptible?
references
References
  • Browne, K. D. (2005). The influence of violent media on children and adolescents: A public-health approach. The Lancet, 365, 702-710.
  • Cantor, J., & Wilson, B.J. (2003). Media and violence: Intervention strategies for reducing aggression. Media Psychology, 5, 363-403.
  • Gentile, D.A., & Anderson, C.A. (2003). Television violence. In D.A. Gentile (Ed.). Media violence and children a complete guide for parents and professionals (pp. 131-152). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
  • Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J, Podolski, C.L., & Eron, L.D. (2003). Longitudinal relations between children’s exposure to TV violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood: 1977-1992. Developmental Psychology, 39, 201-221.
  • Riley, D. M. (n.d.). 2007 U.S. video game and PC game sales exceed $18.8 billion marking third consecutive year of record-breaking sales. RetrievedApril 20, 2008, from http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_080131b.html
  • Senate Committee on the Judiciary. (1999). Children, violence, and the media a report for parents and policy makers. RetrievedApril 18, 2008, from http://judiciary.senate.gov/oldsite/mediavio.html
  • Strasburger V. C., & Wilson, B.J. (2003). Television violence. In D.A. Gentile (Ed.). Media violence and children a complete guide for parents and professionals (pp. 57-86). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
  • Vessey, J. A., & Lee J.E. Violent video games affecting our children. Pediatric Nursing, 26, 607-610..
  • Wilson, B.J., & Martins, N. (2006). The impact of violent music on youth. In N.E. Dowd, D.G. Singer, & R.F. Wilson (Eds.), Handbook of children, culture, and violence (pp. 179-202). Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
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