Media Violence (Complete with Bibliograhy)
Uploaded by Bethri on Feb 28, 2006
Is Media Violence Harmful to Children?
Media violence is getting more attention now than ever, as a precursor to children becoming violent teens and adults. Does watching a violent cartoon before school in the morning influence children to go to school and show violence toward their peers? The verdict seems to still be out on this issue.
Some studies show children can differentiate between cartoon violence and violent shows depicting real people such as research by Deakin University lecturer David Ritchie. Other research conflicts Ritchie's findings. “Many children, especially preschool age, cannot differentiate between animated/fantasy, violence and reality based violence.” (NCTA funded three-year research study 1994-97) 1
Some of the reasons the cartoon violence is so damaging to this age group are that the characters are not always the villains, the "good" characters are also committing the violent acts. The character involved in the violent or aggressive acts are not punished for the act, and even though in real-life the act would cause death or severe trauma there is no scene depicting this. Many times the afflicted character will get back up and shake it off and be back to normal. This can be very confusing for younger children.
"Children who watched the violent shows were more likely to strike out at playmates, argue, disobey authority and were less willing to wait for things than those children who watched non-violent programs." (Grebner, University of Penn.) 2
More surprising and disturbing is the way violence is distributed among adult and child programming. Violence was found to occur in 69% of children’s programming versus 57% for adult programming. Even to those that state media violence is not harmful to children, these facts should be upsetting. (Kaiser Foundation study 1994-97) 3
A study conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine has shown some proof of brain changes in youth by using MRI scans. Researchers got together a group of teens who were known to be aggressive, along with a group of non-aggressive teens. Both played violent video games and then MRI scans were conducted. Researchers found that there was a change in brain function only in the known aggressive teens after playing these violent games.
“Initial evidence from the study demonstrates that adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders have different frontal lobe activation patterns than teens without the disorder," said principal investigator Vincent...