Media Violence and Children

The media has become very influential in the day to day lives of individuals including children. The media however has come up with its challenges as the violence that is elaborated in the media industry is said to have a bad impact to the development of individuals especially children. There is increasing evidence from research findings pointing to the notion that media violence is responsible for the increasing aggressive behavior being witnessed in children. This paper sets to find out the effects of the of media violence on aggressiveness in children as observed in our society.

Media violence is known to be propagated by the movie industry and the television in addition to the internet and this may have far reaching consequences to the children. The violence that is portrayed in the media has the capabilities of sinking into the minds of these young brains and the children are likely to emulate what they see or watch on the screens. Media Violence and Aggressive behavior in Children: Research has continuously pointed towards the relationship between media violence and aggressive behavior in children. According to the American Psychological Association, media violence affects the child in three ways.

Thus the child may become desensitized to the pains and suffering of others; they may be more frightened of their environment and that they are likely to exhibit an aggressive behavior or in ways that are likely to hurt others (Tompkins, 2003). The effects on violent media on children are likely to be felt in adulthood. According to the University of Michigan professor, L. Rowell Huesmann, there is overwhelming evidence “that exposure to media violence causes children to behave more aggressively and affects them as adults years later,” (Media Awareness Network, 2010, para 1).

There is a growing evidence base that being exposed to media violence for a long time in formative years is linked to aggressive behavior later in life. This perspective was given an impetus by Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman in their analysis of the situation among the adolescents and the young girls. Their study indicated that exposure to media violence resulted in aggressive behavior in their subjects of the study (Anderson, and Bushman, 2002). Johnson and his associates on their part conducted a longitudinal study of the effects of violent media on the adolescents which spanned to seventeen years.

This study was an elaborate one involving over seven hundred families and was dedicated to unravel the actual effect of violent media on the aggressiveness of the individuals. In this study, other factors that could result into the aggressiveness were able to be controlled which included child neglect, family income, and violent neighborhoods among others. The findings in this study were amazing as greater chances for aggressiveness were witnessed in those individuals who were exposed to media violence for longer hours (Johnson, et al. 2002). Conclusion: It is evident that media violence has grave impacts on the developing children.

Children normally are unable to differentiate between fiction and reality and that the violence that they watch in the media is regarded as heroic in most instances. Through the process of observational learning, the children are able to emulate the violence witnessed in the media and hence the development of the aggressive behavior. Parents and caregivers are therefore advised to make sensible decisions regarding what the children should be exposed to inline with their level of development. Children should therefore be restricted from being exposed to media violence. Reference: Anderson, C. A.

, and Bushman, B. J. (2002). The effects of media violence on society. Science, Vol. 295, No. 5564, p 2377-2378. Johnson, J. G. , et al. (2002). Television viewing and aggressive behavior during adolescence and adulthood. Science, Vol. 295, No. 5564, p 2468-2471. Media Awareness Network, (2010). Research on the Effects of Media Violence. Retrieved on 2nd July 2010 from; http://www. media-awareness. ca/english/issues/violence/effects_media_violence. cfm Tompkins, A. (2003). The Psychological Effects of Violent Media on Children. Retrieved on 2nd July 2010 from; http://allpsych. com/journal/violentmedia. html

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