Washington, Oct 2 : The amount of violent TV watched is linked to negative personality attributes among white males and females and African-American females, according to a new study.
To investigate the connection, psychologists Seymour Feshbach from the University of California, Los Angeles and June Tangney from George Mason University conducted a study that evaluated TV viewing habits, intelligence, and behaviour in 4th, 5th and 6th grade children.
To assess these qualities, the children's parents and teachers completed behavioral questionnaires detailing the children's aggression, delinquency and cruelty.
The children took IQ tests and completed surveys indicating the TV programs (which were later categorized as violent or non-violent by the researchers) they had watched during a seven-day time period.
The results showed a positive relationship between the amount of violent TV watched and negative personality attributes among white males and females and African-American females.
Interestingly though, while there was a correlation between watching violent TV and lower academic performance in African-America males, these boys did not exhibit increased aggression or lower IQ.
The researchers speculate that perhaps for African-American males, viewing TV (including violent programs) may play a different role than for white males and African-American and white females.
"The data raise the possibility that processes competing with or overriding the aggression stimulating or aggression modeling effects of viewing violence on television may be more salient for African-American males," the researchers said.
The study is published in the September issue of Perspecitves on Psychological Science.