Analyzing Whether Violence In The Media Contribute To Violent Behavior In Children Research Paper

Length: 8 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Business - Miscellaneous Type: Research Paper Paper: #16407947 Related Topics: Aggressive Behavior, Media Violence, Multivariate Analysis, Television Violence
Excerpt from Research Paper :

¶ … Violence in Media Contribute to Violent Behavior in Children?

In this day and age, the media is part and parcel of most people's lives in such a way that there is an interaction with media in different forms each day. People access media for many reasons, some of which are to gather information, to be entertained and in order to advance their education. In today's media, violence has become a common feature, raising fears of what the impact of this might be. This issue is prevalent all around the world today and has been accessed by people of all ages, races and religions. Questions have been raised as to the effect this violence has had and will have on the viewer (Hinkley, et al., 2014). Media can be accessed in various forms, including television, radios, films, games and the internet. All these mediums have a potential to affect people's lives, their perception of life, their attitudes and even their principles. When it comes to children who are impressionable, the effects can go even further to affect them mentally and physically.

Children, in their teenage years, when exposed to this violence on the media, become less sensitive to violence and they may perceive it as a normal way in which issues are sorted out. Kirsh (2012) supports this view, stating that interaction with violence on the media regularly, accustoms a person to it, so that it becomes one of the accepted forms of resolving challenges and attaining objectives. The glamour that is attached to the use of weapons and the association of this with supremacy in the films and music videos can cause the audience to not only see this as normal, but also desire it. Hinkley, et al. (2014) state that media has been perceived to have replaced the teachers and parents as the primary source of shaping a young person's life. Media has taken over and now the values and the behavior of young people can be seen to mirror that of media personalities or that viewed in movies. Young ladies are seen to be displaying the behavior of actresses in soap operas. This can be seen in terms of the hairstyles that they choose, the types of clothes that they wear, and even how they speak and behave. Some behaviors adopted are undesirable such as that of wearing inappropriate clothes and the taking of illegal drugs.

This review, thus, coming from a public health point-of-view, aims to look at the available research on the impact that media violence has on young people. Literature that is available on the PsychInfo and EBSCOhost will be discussed, focusing on the research done in the last five years.

Literature Review

The violence shown on the media and its impact on the antagonistic actions of teenagers was researched in a study carried on Ogbomosho high schools (Ojewola, 2014). This study collected data from all the high schools in this area as the teenagers formed the population. The research design that was adopted for the study was descriptive survey. The area had fifty-two schools from which random sampling selected eight schools for the study. Two were private and six were public schools. Out of these schools, there were four hundred respondents who participated in the study. A questionnaire was adopted, which had 25 questions. The coefficient of reliability was 0.72. The null hypotheses, which were three in number, were evaluated at a significance level of 0.05. The study also used various statistical tests, such as the analysis of variance and the t-test. Based on what was found out, the researcher concluded that violence in media did not have a significant impact on aggression as far as gender was concerned. However, when it came to age, the media violence did have a significant impact...


The study also researched the impact on media violence on antagonistic actions in private and public schools. On this hypothesis, it was discovered that the school type mattered when assessing the impact of media violence on aggressive conduct (Ojewola, 2014).

Ferguson (2015) carried out two research studies to find out the relationship between the violence on media and the violence in society. One of the studies focused on violence emanating from films and the numbers of homicides between 1920 and 2005 in the U.S. From this study, the researcher concluded that there were moderate correlations between the violence in movies and the rates of homicides in the middle of the 20th century. However, at its beginning and at its end, the relationship between these two variables was inverse. The second study was focused on how violence in video games affected the violence observed in the youth between 1995 and 2015. This study concluded that one cannot predict the violence in society based on the violence that is consumed through the media.

Other studies were done, which brought to light the empirical studies which revealed trends and directions that future research should take. These studies showed that there is agreement among researchers that indeed violence on media has harmful effects on children and teenagers. The researchers noted that there was suggested bias in the suggestions that were made otherwise, given that these were from people who could not be considered as experts (Bushman, et al., 2015). The researchers noted that there was a lot of literature, which covered the relationship between media violence viewed on screen and aggressive behavior. However, there was very little literature on the effect of media violence on print, and this may be reason for the lack of consensus among experts.

A study was carried out by Yousef, et al. (2014) in the United Arab Emirates, where the researchers concluded that there was a relationship between the viewing of television and video games and the behavioral challenges that children were demonstrating. The children who participated in this study had a mean age of 8.7 years. The children were scored on the number of hours that they spent watching television and video games. Those who were considered involved were those who spent two hours and more on this, while those less involved spent less than two hours watching or playing these. The two-hour limit was used as it is that which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. 37% of the children who were found to have higher scores of being reserved, having problems socializing, lacking focus, and showing aggression, were those who spent more than two hours on these media. These children were found to have few siblings and also to be lower in terms of their birth order. Where these two factors were controlled, there was still a significant relationship between those with behavioral problems and the more than two hours of television and video time. The researchers concluded that two or more hours of television and video game viewing and interaction per day, results in behavioral problems for children. They recommended increasing the awareness of parents.

A meta-analytic test was proposed to examine the supposition that content of videogames impacts the social behaviors by Greitmeyer and Mugge (2014). In many research studies carried out with over 35,000 respondents, conclusions were made that social outcomes were related to content on violent and prosocial video games. The violence interacted with on video games resulted in the more aggressive behavior and less sociable outcomes. However, the prosocial video games had positive outcomes. These empirical studies demonstrated reliably that the content of video games has specific social outcomes that can be immediate or long-term.

Hinkley, et al. (2014) carried out studies to find out the relationship between the use of electronic media by preschoolers and their well-being later on. The study made use of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire and the KINDLR questionnaire. Two scales were used, one from each questionnaire. The first was the Peer Problems and Emotional Problems subscale and the second was the Emotional well-being, Self-esteem, Family functioning and Social networks sub-scale. The scales were set to detect the children who were more likely to have poor outcomes. There were differences in the associations as far as gender was concerned. Nevertheless, it was observed that where there was extensive viewing of media, there were poor outcomes in terms of well-being. The viewing of television during the week as well as during the weekend resulted in poor outcomes, unlike the use of computer games. Every additional hour of television resulted in a higher likelihood of experiencing problems emotionally as well as having a family that functioned poorly. The studies thus concluded that there was an association between the use of electronic media in young children and their poor well-being outcomes.


The method that I used to find materials for this research was to visit the PsychINFO and EBSCOhost databases. I needed to locate materials that had been researched in the last five years. The terms that I used in this search were violen* and aggress*, televis*, videogames, movies, games, and computer games, among others. Using the asterisk in some terms was…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bushman, B. J., Gollwitzer, M., & Cruz, C. (2015). There is broad consensus: Media researchers agree that violent media increase aggression in children, and pediatricians and parents concur. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 4, 200-214. doi:10.1037/ppm0000046.

Ferguson, C. J. (2015). Does Media Violence Predict Societal Violence? It Depends on What You Look at and When. Journal of Communication 65, E1 -- E22. doi:10.1111/jcom.12129

Ferguson, C. J., Olson, C. K., Kutner, L. A., & Warner, D. E. (2014). Violent video games, catharsis seeking, bullying, and delinquency: A multivariate analysis of effects. Crime & Delinquency, 60, 764-784. doi:10.1177/0011128710362201

Greitemeyer, T., & Mugge, D. O. (2014). Video games do affect social outcomes: a meta-analytic review of the effects of violent and prosocial video game play. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 578-589. doi:10.1177/0146167213520459

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