Does television violence negatively effect children.

Essay by libra092680University, Bachelor'sB, May 2003

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American children spend more time watching television than they do engaging in any other activity besides sleeping. On average, children between 2 and 5 years of age watch about 4 hours of TV each day. Not surprisingly, psychologists, educators, and parents are very concerned about influence TV has on children.

One concern regards the violence that pervades much TV entertainment. Children who watch 2 hours of TV daily (which is well below the national average) will see about 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence by the time they leave elementary school (according to the American Psychological Association). In addition to extensive viewing of programs and movies on television, children have access to other on-screen entertainment, including video games and the Internet. Does witnessing this violence make children more aggressive, and if so, does TV violence account, at least in part, for the rapid rise in violent crime among adolescents?

Children themselves think the answers may be yes.

In one recent survey, most young people between the ages of 10 and 16 felt that TV violence was a factor in aggressive acts among their peers. Some data on copycat crimes of violence seem to bear this out. For example, one study linked 13 movies and 13 TV shows to 58 acts of violence of exactly the same kind as shown on the screen. Nevertheless, scientific answers concerning the effects of TV violence are still uncertain because the casual links aren't clear. Although there is convincing evidence that children who frequently watch TV violence or play violent video games are more aggressive than other children, this might simply mean that children that are prone to aggression are also drawn to violent TV shows or games.

Perhaps the best evidence that watching TV violence can encourage violent behavior comes from a...