Media Violence and Children

Published on October 29, 2021

Authors put an emphasis on the fact that the threat to public health is posed by the media violence and furthermore the real-world aggression and violence take its place as the consequence of the media violence. This is the core problem, investigated by the authors. In accordance with the research, both film violence and fictional television make their contribution to the short- and a long-term increase in the violence and aggression among the young viewers. Also, authors consider that the violence, shown in the television news, makes its contribution for the increased violence, such as acts of aggression and imitative suicides. The video games are also referred to the threat for the increased aggression among children.

It is important to put an emphasis on the fact that the long-term longitudinal studies, directed for investigation of the long-term effects of media violence have not been conducted neither by the authors of the research, nor by other scholars.

Authors have carried out the analysis of the empirical data in order to present the fact that the risk of violent and aggressive behavior is increased by the media. Also, the analysis of the longitudinal data has been conducted in the scopes of research, and it has proved that exposure to the media violence in the timeframes of middle childhood leads to the increased aggressiveness.

The results of the study are the following: there is a direct interrelation between the media violence and aggression in the real word. This interrelation is moderated by the social influences, nature of the media content and individual vulnerability of the child to such content.

The second article to be discussed is the “Reassessing Media Violence Effects Using a Risk and Resilience Approach to Understanding Aggression” by Douglas A. Gentile and Brad J. Bushman and published in 2012 by American Psychological Association.

The core research question of the study has been the investigation of the violent media effects in terms of risk and resilience framework. The core reason for such scientific approach has been the fact that such framework considers the multiple factors, inhibiting and facilitating the aggression.

The prospective study has been conducted by the authors in the process of research among 430 children of third through fourth grade. Also, peers and teachers of these children have been surveyed for two times in the timeframe of the school year within the period of 6 months. Scholars have measured six risk/protective factors of the aggression, such as physical victimization, parental monitoring, participant sex, media violence exposure, prior aggression and hostile attribution bias. For each time, the parallels between the Time 1 risk factor and physical aggression’ increased risk (at Time 2) has been drawn, and at Time 2, the association between the protective factors and decreased risk has been done.

The authors have considered that the Gestalt-type effect has taken its place at the cases when the risk factors’ integration has been the better predictor of aggression in comparison to the sum of the individual parts of risk factors.

The results of the study support the framework of the risk and resilience in relation to the aggression. Also, the results of the study suggest that it is possible to underestimate the media violence exposure’ effects in case if the risks are analyzed by the procedures of a standard data analysis.

The third source to be analyzed in the scopes of the literature review is “Media Violence Effects and Violent Crime: Good Science or Moral Panic?” by Christopher J. Ferguson. This is the chapter of the book “Violent Crime: Clinical and Social Implications” by the same author.

The core task of the research was an investigation of the impact, made by the media violence on the violent and aggressive behavior. Author puts an emphasis on the fact that the existing short-term increases in the minor aggression are still inconclusive, and for this reason it is still the disputable question among the scholars.

While choosing the research methods in the investigation of the media violence, author has made a statement that the aggression has not been studied by the other scholars alongside with the media violence. The core reason for that is the fact that not all acts of aggression have the damaging effect to other people or are illegal. Thus, it is possible to study these acts in the experimental manner from the perspective of ethics. In case if such studies may prove a causal effect of the media violence, made on the on aggression in the laboratory conditions, the possibility of correlation the violent crime and media violence in the real world would occur.

In the research, the author has applied the two following theories of media violence, such as catharsis model and the social learning approaches.

Ferguson considered that the evidence is not the core supportive factor for the interrelation between the media violence and the violent crime or other acts of serious aggression. The core reason for such authors’ statement was the fact that the persistent focus on the media violence as on the core contributive factor for the further aggression may cause the risky loss of attention from other contributive factors for the aggressive behavior among children, such as the drug trade, poverty, social inequality, or the family violence.

The fourth source to be investigated is the “Media Violence and Social Neuroscience: New Questions and New Opportunities” by Nicholas L. Carnagey, Craig A. Anderson and Bruce D. Bartholow, published in 2006 by Association for Psychological Science.

As the basic idea for the research purpose, the authors have chosen the statement, made by other scholars - the popularization of violence on television may lead to increases in aggression. The fact that the violent video games have emerged recently, has raised the new questions, concerning the violent media effects. The General Aggression Model (GAM), offered by the authors, forecasts that exposure to the media of a violent nature may increase the aggressive behavior in one of the three following manners cognitions, arousal, and affect. The GAM has been supported by the previous psycho physiological research, but at that stage, it has been restricted to the examining arousal related variables.

The contribution of the authors, made to the social neuroscience, have created an option for the violent media effects’ investigation in terms of affective and cognitive components and if their neuro-cognitive underpinnings.

Authors claim that the Neuroscience tools possess the potential for giving the answers on the new questions, which have arisen after the emergence of the set of advances in the media technology. It is important to put an emphasis on the fact that the article is logically organized and easily to follow.

The last article to be discussed in the scopes of this paper is “The Influence of Violent Media on Children and Adolescents: A Public-Health Approach” by Kevin D Browne, Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis, published in vol. 365 February 19, 2005.

Authors have claimed that the extent of the media violence’ effects on children and on the youth is still the disputable question. The core purpose of this scientific research has been consideration of the research evidence from the perspective of the public-health. Five meta-analytic reviews have been revealed by the search of published work. Also, the quasi-systematic review has been applied by the authors. All the above listed sources have been from the North America.

Authors put an emphasis on the fact that there is an evident fact of existing risk increasing aggressive or fearful behavior among youth and children, caused by the violent imagery from films and videos, television, compute games, etc. In case if this interrelation is considered among the older children and teenagers, the evidence becomes inconsistent.

Authors put an emphasis on the multi-factorial nature of the aggression. The association is shown in the research that there is a substantial effect size on the public health. Authors contrast this association to the fact that there in a weak evidence of the fact that the media violence is linked to the crime in a direct manner.

From the perspective of the public health, the short-term effects are caused by the violent imagery on arousal, emotions, thoughts, and that issue, in turns, increases the probability of the fearful or aggressive behavior probability. The research is logically organized and easily to follow.

Among the core similarities in the five articles, which have been disused, it is possible to refer to the fact that all the authors claim that there is an interrelation between the violent media and further aggressive behavior among children. The core disputable question in these scientific researches is the extent of such correlation weather it is significant or not.

In accordance with the studies, the vast majority of the information, consumed by the children comes from mass media whether it is TV, print editions, Internet or video games. There is a significant impact of mass media on values, beliefs and life attitudes among the children (which are partly formed by the information, which is consumed by them from mass media). For this reason, scholars refer to the fact that there are both short and long term effects of mass media on the further behavior of the children. For instance, after playing a cruel video game, children act in an aggressive manner in relation to their peers and adults. From the other hand, after durable consumption of the abusive information from the films and from the news, the attitude towards the life changes because violent behavior is widely popularized through the TV and it forms the live values of the children.

The core difference between the articles, which have been discussed above, is the scientific approaches, applied in the research, the ways of data colleting and of its analysis.

Finally, the concern of the media violence impact on children has been considered from the different perspectives in the analyzed articles from the perspective of public health and sociology, from the psychological perspective, from the neuropsychological perspective, etc.

It is obvious that only multi-dimensional approach towards the problem investigation may bring the maximally correct results and to prove (or to disprove) the evidence of the initially stated hypothesis of the scientific research.

The research has mainly dedicated to the investigation of the interrelation between the media violence and the aggressive or abusive behavior among children. Preparing a research design is a critical part in every research endeavor. Although, there are different steps, there is a high level of interaction between them. Interaction is viewed in the form of applying a measurement instrument used, which determines the type of analysis tools. In turn, the definite features of a measurement instrument also influence the nature of analysis that is conducted.

As the researcher, I intend to employ a combination of secondary data based on the nature of the research. As in most studies, the secondary sources of data are useful in highlighting the current state of affairs. In simple terms, secondary sources of data present what has been considered or reviewed by other researchers - the interrelation between the media violence and the aggressive or abusive behavior among children.

The type of data is also useful in highlighting the knowledge gap or discrepancies in the existing literature. Such information is obtained after conducting the literature review- 4 peer reviewed journal articles and one book. A keener look into the research issue indicates that both qualitative and quantitative data are necessary. In result, the research combines the two approaches in order to ensure that the results are obtained. Moreover, other methodologies may be employed, depending on how this research pans out.

In the collection of data, several options are available. These comprise experimental data and secondary data. Secondary data is sourced to serve as a guide in the initial stages of a study. Such information is supportive in understanding what the field of study entails or what has been done so far in the field. In result, the works of other researchers are put into perspective with a view to illuminating on what needs to be done.

The core purpose of the next two modules is deep investigation of the initially chosen scientific direction in order to prove the hypothesis about the existing relation between the media violence and abusive and aggressive behavior among children.

This article is written by Liana Wongа who is an editor at








Category(s):Child Development, Domestic Violence, Health Psychology

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