Effects of Media to Children Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1578 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Communication - Journalism

TV Violence

Violence on TV has become very common. The news is filled with crimes in the United States and about the Iraq war. The news programs show how a crime was done and actual pictures of murdered bodies. Other shows have live videotapes of police officers chasing criminals. A lot of these shows are shown when young children are still awake and watching TV with their family. Does this violence affect them? If it does, how much? There still is a lot of debate about this. Most reviews of the studies done show that it does not cause aggression or crime, but there is agreement that the media should be more responsible about violence and television and have more shows about positive behavior.

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There are studies that say that violence does cause more aggression and those that say violence does not have an effect. Browne and Hamilton report about a national TV violence study in the United States that reviewed the contents of TV shows. The study found that 61% of the programs included violence, 55% in realistic environments; 71% of these shows did not show any guilt by the criminal or criticism about the violence. Also, 54% of the TV programs had lethal violent content, 39% committed by attractive individuals. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that youth who are between 2 and 18 years old spend approximately six and a half hours with media every day, like TV, films, video games, and computers. They spend more time on these activities than any other during the day except for sleeping (Cheng et al.).

Term Paper on Effects of Media to Children Assignment

Such statistics disturb children health professionals and parents and have resulted in thousands of different studies on the influence of violent media on children and adolescents' aggressive behavior and criminal acts. James Hamilton, who is a professor at Duke University in public policy, economics and political science and wrote Economic Market for Violent Television Programming, spoke to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation about the concerns of violent shows. He believes that violence seen on TV will be imitated if the show does not also show the person being punished or suffering in some way for the crime. He says that most programs do not show these negative affects. (Colorito). Colorito says that the special TV news programs are the worst problem. In order to increase the number of viewers of the show, these newsmagazines frequently look like "violent feature films." The networks say that shows like "20/20" and "48 Hours" are just reporting the information as it happened, what news programs are supposed to do.

On the other hand, there are those who say that people are making a bigger problem out of media violence than there really is. All the commotion about violence on TV is greatly exaggerated. Most reviews of a number of different studies say that overall the research does not show that media violence is harmful to children. It is too difficult to separate the affect the media has on youth from other influences, such as education, parents' attitudes, social values and home environment. Felson argues that the topic of violence in the media has been continually debated over the past several decades. There are a lot of empirical studies that show the effects of TV on aggression. However, no review looked at the criminal aggression. He concludes that even though the possibility of TV and film violence leading to violent crime remains, most of the studies show that viewing violence does not cause crime. Likewise, Kirsh looked at many different studies about media violence and children and adolesence and said that there is not a strong link between media violence and aggression.

However, Kirsh says that regardless of what all the studies show, violence is not a good subject for children to watch. He says that even if there is not a strong connection, the media should show more shows that have a positive message. This is especially important for younger children in their early years of development. Kirsh also wants readers to be critical of the studies they read and make sure they are scientifically based, not just someone's opinion. Many people, like Kirsh, believe that even if there is no specific agreement on this concern, it should not be ignored. Something should be done to make the programs better for children. The media should not be making crime look like it goes unpunished. They should also report the negative results of such behavior. Also, it is understandable that TV news has to report the conflicts and wars across the world. They should also have more shows about good news in the world and what people are doing to make the world a better place. Parents also need to be more responsible, since Cheng et. al showed that parental involvement is not consistent. Parents should keep track of what their children are watching on TV and the games they are playing on the computer. They should make sure they are age appropriate. They can monitor what their children watch and the games they play. They can also watch the more violent shows with them and explain how TV programming is done and whether or not all the information is given to them in a nonbiased way. Education about the impact of media is very important. Children need to know that life also has many people who are doing good things and there is a great deal of positive news in the world, as well.


American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Public Education. Media violence. Pediatrics, 108 (2001): 1222-1226

Browne, Kevin, and Catherine.Hamilton-Giachritsis. "The influence of violent Media on children and adolescents: A public-health approach." The Lancet 365 (2005): 702-710.

Cheng, Tina., Ruth Brenner, Joseph Wright, Cheryl Hari Sachs, Patricia Moyer, and Malla Rao "Children'sviolent television viewing: Are parents monitoring?" Pediatrics, 114.1 (2004): 94-99.

Colorito, Rita. (2002) "Violence on Television News Programs is a Serious Problem." Is Media Violence a Problem? Ed James Torr San Diego: Greenhaven, 2002. 24- 30.

Felson, Richard. "Mass Media Effects on Violent Behavior." Annual Review of Sociology 22. 1996. [Electronic Version]

Kirsh, Steven. Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence. A Crtical Look at the Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2006

Annotated Bibliography

American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Public Education. Media violence. Pediatrics, 108 (2001): 1222-1226

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that violence in media, such as television, movies, music, and video games, is a major risk to the health of children and adolescents. Numerous studies show that this violence can lead to aggressive behavior, nightmares, and fear of being hurt. Pediatricians and parents need to ask the media for less violence and find ways to teach children about what they see.

Browne, Kevin, and Catherine.Hamilton-Giachritsis. "The influence of violent Media on children and adolescents: A public-health approach." The Lancet 365 (2005): 702-710.

People continue to debate on how much media violence effects children and how to research this is a reliable way. This report reviewed the findings of six studies. They showed that violent images in television, film, video and computer games have short-term effects on thoughts and emotions and can increase the possibility of aggressive or fearful behavior in young children, mostly boys. However, the results do not show a connection between media violence and crime.

Cheng, Tina., Ruth Brenner, Joseph Wright, Cheryl Hari Sachs, Patricia Moyer, and Malla Rao "Children'sviolent television viewing: Are parents monitoring?" Pediatrics, 114.1 (2004): 94-99.

Studies show that it is important for child health professionals to counsel parents on limiting the amount of violence children see in the media. However, to know how to counsel these parents, the professionals need a better understanding of the parent attitudes about the monitoring of violent television. The study found that there is a lot of variability… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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