Media Violence: the Effect on Children

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MEDIA VIOLENCE: LEADING CAUSE OF VIOLENT AND AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR IN YOUNG CHILDREN

Introduction
For many years, media violence has been a popular topic in terms of its influence over children. Exposure to violence can have significant effects on children during their development and as they form their own intimate relationships in childhood and adulthood. Researchers have that found nonaggressive children who had been exposed to high levels of media violence had similar patterns of activity in an area of the brain linked to self-control and attention as aggressive children who had been diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorder. Knowing the extent of the negative effect media has will help guide me in working with children. Does violent media cause psychological effects on children?

Current research agrees that violent media is associated with aggressive behavior. Precarious behavior by children can include violence against others and lack of remorse for consequences. The Academy of Pediatrics (1999) says “More than one thousand scientific studies and reviews conclude that significant exposure to media violence increases the risk of aggressive behavior in certain children, desensitizes them to violence and makes them believe that the world is a ‘meaner and scarier’ place than it is.” This type of flawed thinking creates stressors in children that can lead to the onset of many different symptoms. Children who view media violence are more likely to have increased feelings of hostility, decreased emotional response to the portrayal of violence and injury that lead to violent behavior through imitation. If children begin to think that this type of violence is normal behavior, these thoughts are difficult to change later on in life. As written on Wikipedia (2012), one psychologist named Albert Bantura, tested his theory of the media’s extreme influence in 1963. The experiment, known as the “Bobo doll experiment”, tested differences in children’s behavior and...
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