Effects of Media Violence on Children

Topics: Violence, Aggression, Social rejection Pages: 6 (2437 words) Published: December 12, 2006
The Effect of Media Violence on Children and Levels of Aggression.

It has been said that children are like sponges when it comes to attaining knowledge. This seems to be true whether they are learning to speak or how to show emotion. Feelings and emotions become more imminent once children begin to go through adolescents. Children acquire the ability to aggression, sadness, and happiness more readily. Males typically exhibit higher levels of aggression then females according to some research. Within the realm of learning children imitate what they see constantly, whether it be through TV, magazines ,movies, or radio. Media plays a strong role on how children act to different situations that they may have seen. Sometimes the behaviors shown are very aggressive and children believe that is the way to solve the problem with the situation they are in. Behaviors of aggression could strongly affect the way children grow up.

In a study done by L. Rowell Huesmann et al. (1992) , a longitudinal experiment was perform to see if violence in the media had a lasting affect in children through their teenage years. The experiment involved two separate session ,one began in 1977 and the other in 1992 15 years later when the children became adults. In the first test session children were asked to choose their favorite programs from 8 different lists with ten programs on each list. Each list included very violent programs and non- violent programs. Then the children were asked of the shows chosen how often they had watched them using the different amounts including; every time it's on," "a lot, but not always," or "once in a while.". To make sure that programs on the list would definitely appeal to the children, Huesmann used the Nielsen ratings to pick the top rated shows for 6 to 11 year olds. The experimenters then coded the shows according to a scale of 1-5(non-violent to violent). The overall aggression score was computed by how often the children watch the show and how violent it was. In the second session of the experiment done in 1992 the same people were brought back to be tested. Only 329 of the participants could be found. But of those that were re-interviewed interesting results were established. In the second part the adults were asked basically the same criteria as they were 15 years early. Then raters asked these now adults if they could speak to 3 non -family members about there level of aggression. The results showed that the adults who were rated with "every time its on" and more violent shows( 4-5) when they were younger turned out to show more aggressive physical behavior towards their spouse and friends then children that were on the opposite end of the spectrum. This experiment showed that violence early on in life had a lasting affect on the now adults.

In a more famous study done by Bandura et al.(1961) showed that children are likely to imitate violent models. In this experiment there were two groups and a control. One group was the violent model group and then other being the non-violent group. The Participants where ages 37 months to 69 months. In the violent model group a subject was taken to a room and left alone and then a model came into interact with the subject. The model first began to play with some toys but soon stopped and started with aggressive behavior toward a 5 foot blow up bobo doll. After the aggressive behavior toward the doll the model began hitting and punching the doll. In the other non- violent model group the model just quietly played with tinker toys and completely ignored the doll. In the second portion of the experiment the child was allowed to go into a similar room with the same set up as the first and play. There was an observer rating the how the child acted with out the model in the room. The results showed that the children that had the violent model displayed a significant amount of violence towards the doll as their model did early. The non- violent...
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