Wartella Media violence 4 17 07

Category: Entertainment

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Media Violence Research: 

Media Violence Research Ellen A. Wartella CDMC Children’s Digital Media Center University of California, Riverside


NTVS Study of 1994-98 Violence continues to pervade American television Over all three years, a steady 60% of TV programs contain violence. Much of TV violence is still glamorized. Most violence on television continues to be sanitized. Much of the serious physical aggression on television is still trivialized. Very few programs emphasize an anti-violence theme.


Overall Industry Averages: Three-Year Comparisons Violent Interactions

Types of Research: 

Types of Research Experiments Surveys Longitudinal studies Meta analyses

Summaries of Violence Effects Research: 

Summaries of Violence Effects Research Government Hearings and Reports: 1954 Kefauver, 1969 National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, 1972 Surgeon General’s Study of Television and Growing Up, 1982 NIMH Television and Behavior Congressional Public Health Summit 2000 American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adloescent Psychiatry, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Psychiatric Association

Conclusions of Major Reviews: 

Conclusions of Major Reviews Brief Exposure to media violence: Increases aggression in immediate situation Increases aggressive thoughts Increases aggressive feelings Can cause fear, anxiety, and nightmares, espeically in children, which sometimes perists for long periods of time Can teach new ways to harm others Repeated Exposure to media violence: Increases aggession and violence across time Desensitizes people to acts and consequences of violence May be larger for younger children and adolescents


The theoretical explanation of how media violence produces its effects is that it influences how people think.

Violence Effects on Children’s Emotions: 

Violence Effects on Children’s Emotions Percent of college freshman reporting lingering effects of being frightened by a TV show: 90% report intense fear reaction 52% report sleep or eating disturbance 22% report mental preoccupation 35% report general avoidance



Duration of Effects Data from Harrison andamp; Cantor, 1999


Data from Bushman andamp; Anderson, 2001. Strength of Media Violence Effects



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