The Effects of Violent Media on Children, Adolescence, and Adults

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The Effects of Violent Media on Children, Adolescence, and Adults Cheri Burns
COM/220
August 17, 2011
Mary McWilliams

The Effects of Violent Media on Children, Adolescence, and Adults Violence in every form of media is a part of daily life. Children of all ages all over the world are being affected by violence in one form or another. This paper is focusing on television and gaming that children are engaged in. There have been many studies looking at this problem and ways to prevent children from being negatively affected. Children at as young as five years old are exhibiting aggressive behavior as a result of seeing violent behavior in cartoons and regular television. Some of these children as they grow up will become more aggressive as they are attracted to violent television, movies, and games. Of these, as they develop into adolescence will become aggressive adults, causing fights and battering their spouses. Unfortunately, some of these aggressive violent adults will kill people, whether it is an isolated incident or they become serial killers, they are overwhelmed by thoughts of violence. Not all children exposed to violence will become violent, but studies have shown a strong correlation between violent media and aggressive behavior in children, adolescence, and adults. Children

This generation of children is seeing more violence on television than ever before. The world around us is becoming more violent, and the news media takes advantage of that opportunity. The news media knows that people want to see this violence, whether the people would admit it, there ratings show the truth. “Most children in the highest grades of elementary school watch the news at least several times a week and even many 3- to 8-year olds regularly watch television news” (Walma van der Molen, PhD, 2004). Studies have shown that most children have a television in their room which is on all day, so the constant stream of information whether negative or not is affecting these children. On the other hand, researchers disagree that the exposure to media violence causes aggression, some feel they are associated, whiles others feel there is no causal connection (Research on the Effects of Media Violence, 2011). In this modern way of living, parents are normally both working and the children are able to freely watch what they want in regards to regular television. A number of parents will utilize parental controls to limit what their child has access to, but many will not. Studies done with parents in regard to parental controls showed that mostly mothers were more particular as fathers didn’t mind what their children were viewing. Both mothers and fathers did not have concerns with cartoon violence “Those don’t bother me as much as the shooting of real people, you know, with blood that spills everywhere. (Jane)” (Brocato, Gentile, Laczniak, Maier, & Ji-Song, 2010). This shows desensitized reactions from the parents who have been exposed for years themselves to media violence. The studies which have been done appeal to male and female and the results are as follows: In a 15 year longitudinal study of 329 youth, any child from any family, there were no special provisions made in education, occupation, or parenting styles of these children’s home life. The original study consisted of 557 children ages 6-10, living in the Chicago area. The study consisted of showing them different popular shows for that time such as Starsky and Hutch, the Six Million Dollar Man, and The Roadrunner cartoons. Fifteen years later, people conducting the survey were able to resurvey 329 of the boys and girls who were now in their 20’s. All 329 had violent tendencies according to not only their own testimony, but friends and family as well. In the end, the study suggests that “habitual early exposure to TV violence is predictive of more aggression by them later in life” (Huesmann, Ph.D., 2003). A five year study done by the American...
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