Television Violence and Children’s Aggressiveness

In the modern world, mass media plays an instrumental role in disseminating crucial socio-cultural information to the public, including children and adolescents. The television (TV) has been a fundamental tool in mass media application due to its audio and visual capabilities (Rosenkoetter, Rosenkoetter and Acock 2009). Children and adolescents draw immense fascination from TV programs due to the element of entertainment and education. However, in the recent past, the dominant TV programs have been characterized by violence and crime. The violence-themed TV shows and broadcasts have had an adverse psychosocial impact on children and adolescents (Huesmann and Eron 2016). From a psychological standpoint, the early and middle stages of a child’s development are critical in forming a cognitive, physical, and social framework.

Therefore, violent TV programs contribute to adverse outcomes in children and adolescents’ cognitive and general psychological development. The scientific study under consideration is fundamental to the sociology of media since it focuses on investigating the role of mass media in generating adverse behavioral outcomes in children (Carter and Weaver 2003). Conducting investigative research, through analysis and review of relevant literature, on the contribution of violence in TV and media to the development of aggressive behavior in children and adolescents is paramount for the paper.

Review of Literature

The literature review seeks to highlight and analyze the dominant themes, conflicts, debates, and information gaps in the eight articles and texts displayed in the annotated bibliography. All the literature items in the review help build on the investigative theme of the impact of violence in mass media, including TV, on the development of adverse or aggressive behavior in children and adolescents. Comparisons between the presentation of central themes highlighted in the articles and books will contribute to the literature review’s effectiveness.

Impact of Mass Media Violence on Youth

The violence featured in the mass media has a negative impact on the youth’s level of aggression. The study by Anderson et al. (2003) sheds light on the adverse effect of violence on the media and the development of aggressive behavior among youth. The researchers assert through the results gathered from investigative surveys that the mass media element generates negative psychological behavior exhibited through aggression in young children and adolescents. Carter and Weaver’s (2003) study presents similar results based on their investigation of the role of the violence disseminated in mass media. An analysis through evaluating the impact of violence-themed TV programs is crucial to children’s psychological development reflected in their behavioral disposition, especially on aggressive behavior.

TV-based violence impacts negatively on the development of behavior in children. Carter and Weaver (2003) highlight the foundational reasons behind the popularity of violent TV shows among the young audience comprising children and adolescents. The authors posit that the representation of violence in TV programs influences children’s cognitive and social skills, thus affecting their participation in violent acts expressed through aggressive behavior. There is a deep correlation between the perspective drawn by Carter and Weaver (2003) and Anderson et al. (2003) since they reflect on the long-term effect of the violence of mass media programming on the adverse psychological development to adulthood among children. The adolescents’ aggressive behavior scales up to adulthood (maturity), limiting the children’s well-being later in life.

The Correlation Between Television Violence and Aggressiveness in Children

A significant correlation exists between the level of aggression in children and TV violence. The research article by Freedman (1984) reflects on the negative impact of the exposure to violent acts displayed on mass media tools, TV, and the establishment of adverse psychological behavior, aggressiveness, among the children. The researcher recommends that guardians and parents watch TV programming’s nature that their children are being exposed to since it may result in adverse behavioral outcomes in the children’s adulthood stage. Huesmann (2007) shares exciting insights on the psychological theories that explain the relationship between the violence displayed in the electronic media and the development of adverse behavior among children. The scholar asserts that cognitive abilities are affected, and social skills are compromised, resulting in unfavorable behavioral outcomes demonstrated by adolescents’ aggression.

The growing broadcast of violence-themed TV shows leads to an increase in aggressive behavior in children. The in-depth comparative study by Huesmann and Eron (2016) presents a new dimension on investigative research of the impact of mass media’s violence-themed programming on children and adolescents’ psychological behavior. In the longitudinal study, the authors postulate that children who had an early exposure to violence in TV register a high probability of participating in violent acts in their adult stage. The findings from the survey by Huesmann and Enron (2006) have a high degree of similarity with the research findings by Krcmar and Greene (1999) based on predicting the outcome of psychological behavior. The scholarly studies focus on reviewing the negative effect of TV violence on children’s psychological wellness from early to adulthood.

Mitigating the Adverse Impact of TV-Based Violence on Children’s Aggression

Designing innovative intervention methods to regulate the rising usage of violence-based TV programming is a strategic move. Indeed, Rosenkoetter et al.’s (2009) study aimed at developing an intervention method that would be useful in reducing the adverse effects. They relate to the exposure to violence-themed programming on the development of aggressive behavior among adolescents and children. Rosenkoetter et al. (2009) recommend using filter-oriented programming that involves isolating violence-themed shows from the content disseminated to young children. The behavioral outcomes will be favorable when the children consume non-violent mass-media programming. The study by Turner, Hesse and Peterson-Lewis (1987) affirms the need for intervention techniques in controlling aggressive behavior development in children and adolescents. It is possible to institute regulatory measures by governing the use of violent-based programming on TV and general mass media.

Findings and Analysis

The findings from the research studies highlighted in the annotated bibliography demonstrate that hostile or aggressive behavior develops in children and adolescents due to early exposure to violence on TV by disseminating violence-themed TV programs that adversely influence children’s psychological development. The findings of studies conducted by Krcmar and Greene (1999) and Huesmann and Eron (2016) reveal a long-term adverse effect on broadcasting violence-themed programming on TV. The phenomenon affects adolescents’ psychological well-being to the adult stage by exhibiting violent and aggressive behavior. The violence-themed TV shows and broadcasts have had an adverse psychosocial impact on children and adolescents (Huesmann and Eron 2016). The survey findings by Carter and Weaver (2003) and Huesmann and Enron (2006) have a high level of similarity based on predicting the outcome of psychological behavior whereby the relay of violence on the television influences the approach to thought and action in a child. In the end, negative behavioral patterns exhibit in the children.

Discussion

Therefore, violent TV programs contribute to adverse cognitive and general psychological development in children and adolescents. Through the findings illustrated from the investigative surveys, the research studies assert that the element of violence in the mass media generates negative psychological behavior exhibited through aggression in young children and adolescents (Carter and Weaver 2003). From the analysis, the adolescents’ aggressive behavior scales up to the adulthood stage, thus limiting the children’s well-being (Anderson et al. 2003). The studies posit that the representation of violence in TV programs influences children’s cognitive and social skills, thus affecting their participation in violent acts expressed through aggressive behavior. An investigative study by Turner et al. (1987) affirms the need for intervention methods in the control of aggressive behavior development in children and adolescents. The strategy of regulating the use of violent-based programming on TV is effective and productive.

Recommendations and Conclusions

From the analysis and review of the various studies, it is imperative to implement measures to regulate and mitigate the harmful effects of TV violence on developing adverse behavioral and psychological outcomes in children, adolescents, and youth. Thus, intervention techniques are appropriate to remedy the challenge of aggressive behavior development in children. Other studies focused on developing an intervention method that would reduce the massive adverse effects of exposure to violence-based programming on adolescents’ aggressive behavior. It is appropriate to use filter-oriented programming that involves isolating violence-themed shows from the content aired to young children. The behavioral outcomes will be favorable when the children consume non-violent mass-media programming, as demonstrated in the study findings included in the essay. The investigative research, through analysis and review of relevant literature, on the contribution of violence in TV and media to the development of aggressive behavior in children and adolescents has been paramount for the paper. The research studies highlight a significant societal issue of violence on TV, resulting in adverse behavioral outcomes among children and adolescents.

References

Anderson, Craig A., Leonard Berkowitz, Edward Donnerstein, Rowell Huesmann, James D. Johnson, Daniel Linz, Neil M. Malamuth and Ellen Wartell. 2003. “The Influence of Media Violence on Youth.” Psychology Science in the Public Interest 4(3):81–110. Web.

Carter, Cynthia and Kay C. Weaver. 2003. Violence and Media. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Freedman, J. L. 1984. “Effect of Television Violence on Aggressiveness.” Psychological Bulletin 96(2):227–246. Web.

Huesmann, L. Rowell. 2007. “The Impact of Electronic Media Violence: Scientific Theory and Research.” Journal of Adolescent Health 41(6):6–13. Web.

Huesmann, L. Rowell and Leonard D. Eron, eds. 2016. Television and the Aggressive Child: A Cross-National Comparison. London: Routledge.

Krcmar, Marina and Kathryn Greene. 1999. “Predicting Exposure to and Uses of Television Violence.” Journal of Communication 49(3):24–45. Web.

Rosenkoetter, Lawrence I., Sharon E. Rosenkoetter and Alan C. Acock. 2009. “Television Violence: An Intervention to Reduce Its Impact on Children.” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 30(4):381–397. Web.

Turner, Charles W., Bradford W. Hesse and Sonja Peterson-Lewis. 1987. “Naturalistic Studies of the Long-Term Effects of Television Violence.” Journal of Social Issues 42(3):51–73. Web.

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