Children: Exposure to Violence Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2785 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children


Michael Breen an attorney in the case against Michael Carneal stated in court; 'Michael Carneal clipped off nine shots in a 10-second period. Eight of those shots were hits. Three were head and neck shots and were kills. That is way beyond the military standard for expert marksmanship. This was a kid who had never fired a pistol in his life, but because of his obsession with computer games he had turned himself into an expert marksman' (Ivory, 2003), (Hanson, 1999, p. 15)" (Tompkins, 2003). It's crucial to note that Carneal's engagement with violent video games was not the only reason why he ended up killing those innocent people. There are a range of other factors at work which led to his motivation to kill, mostly like things like brain chemistry, lack of proper parental guidance and comparable factors. However, the violent media, in the form of video games, gave him a definitive means to learn and hone a skill as a shooter. The video games both taught him to be a killer and allowed him to become desensitized to these violent images, thus again, allowing him to be a killer.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Research Paper on Children: Exposure to Violence Through Assignment

One of the most damning aspects of exposure to violent media by children is that it implies a shoddy amount of parenting present. Researchers have shown that exposure to violent images is not as detrimental to children if there's an adult present to mitigate and explain the images to the children, acting as essentially, a lifeline to reality. A research study conducted by Nathanson and associates found when "In this research, children view excerpts from a violent TV program in the presence of an adult whose comments on the violence constitute the experimental manipulation. For example, prior to viewing a classic cartoon in which Woody Woodpecker attacks a stranger who has inadvertently interrupted his nap, children in the second through sixth grades were asked to focus on the feelings of the victim (Nathanson & Cantor, 2000). The boys that viewed the same cartoon without the adult encouragement to focus on the victim reported a greater acceptance of aggression in a survey of attitudes regarding violence" (Rosenkoetter et al., 2009). The researchers determined that when there was a more empathic focus which was put into play by the adult present, the funniness of the cartoon was drastically minimized (Rosenkoetter et al., 2009). Researchers have referred to this dynamic time and again as a way in which violent media images can be mediated adequately and children can be protected. One can draw the conclusion, that negligent parenting is just as responsible for violent/aggressive kids as much as exposure to violent images. The fundamental finding that this study reveals is that adults truly have the power to impact the perspective that children build regarding violence. If an adult is present to help illuminate the negativity present within the violence and the pain and destruction that is caused by the violence there is a decisive result in reduced violence on all accounts (Rosenkoetter et al., 2009). Interestingly enough, no comments made by a present adult or neutral comments are seen as a form of endorsement in the violence that is being witnessed (Rosenkoetter et al., 2009). Thus, containment of such violence can be done on a micro-level in individual homes, if and only if, parents or guardians are willing to take an active role in explaining and mitigating the violent, and potentially traumatic and transformative images that the children are seeing.

Some smart things that parents can do are: not putting a TV in their kid's room where they can't monitor it, helping your child select age-appropriate programs, shut off the TV when the program has concluded, don't just leave the TV as background noise, reduce their TV watching time in general by providing a range of other activities, and do not allow violent video games in one's house under any circumstances (

Government Influence

Parents and guardians need not be the only form of containment. Government regulation and strategic intrusion is needed to create a safer experience of childhood for children by curbing the amount of violent images they can be exposed to. For example, violent video games should be illegal in homes where children live. Violent television shows should not be able to be screened in homes where children live. There need to be those regulations in place, because too much responsibility to regulate at this point is left up to the parents and this is just not a realistic means of dealing with problem. If parents were completely on top of things at all times, children either wouldn't be exposed to so much media violence or they wouldn't be impacted by it in such a negative way. This objection is not designed to blame the parents, but to note that governments need to take a more proactive stance in the lives and protection of children. Parents can't be expected to do everything and all things when it comes to limiting or mediating the exposure of children to violent media; if kids are adamant about engaging in some violent shows or video games, they often find a way. Thus, the government truly needs to make it extremely difficult for children to accomplish this. Just as it's difficult for a kid to purchase a six-pack of beer, so it needs to be equally difficult for a child to play a first-person shooter game or watch an R-rated movie, even on DVD. The government has a duty to society and to the future to find creative ways to achieve such regulation.

Thus, this paper has attempted to demonstrate the ill effects of violent media on the minds and subsequently action of children. This paper has attempted to acknowledge that it's not just violent images that can contribute to such damage upon the minds of children, but also a lack of adult mediation. Adults have the power to greatly mediate some of the more damaging destruction that violent media can wage on to the brains and eventually the actions of children. However, the responsibility does not fall exclusively on parents: the government absolutely must regulate violent media in strict and innovative ways.


Beresin, V .E. (2010). The Impact of Media Violence on Children and Adolescents: Opportunities for Clinical Interventions. This article examines the biophysiological impact of violent images on children and how those exact dynamics work. Retrieved march 25, 2013 from

Grayson-Mathis, C.E. (2005, June 10). Media violence may affect children's minds.

Offers a thorough appraisal on how violent media images impact the minds of children using relevant literature to support the case.

Retrieved from

Ioan, B., Dumbrava, A., Streba, I., & Ionescu, S. (2013).Implications of media violence on the aggression of children. Retrieved from

Hermes, A. (2011). Children's Exposure to TV Violence & Aggressive Behavior.

This article offers a solid rundown on the fact and latest findings on the detrimental impact of violent media on children.

Retrieved march 25, 2013 from

Limit TV. (2010). Media Violence and Behavior. This article offers concrete things that parents can do to prevent their children from seeing violent images.

Retrieved March 25, 2013 from

Rosenkoetter, L.I., Rosenkoetter, S.E., & Acock, A.C. (2009). Television violence: An intervention to reduce its impact on children. This study presents up-to-date research on the latest findings on the detrimental impact of violence on children.

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 381 -- 397.

Tompkins, A. (2003). The Psychological Effects of Violent Media on Children. This article muses on the dynamics and various impacts that a range of violent media can have on children and what can be done. Retrieved march 25, 2013 [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Children: Exposure to Violence" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Children: Exposure to Violence.  (2013, April 7).  Retrieved July 31, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Children: Exposure to Violence."  7 April 2013.  Web.  31 July 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Children: Exposure to Violence."  April 7, 2013.  Accessed July 31, 2021.