Violent media increase aggression in kids: Study

Violent media increase aggression in kids: Study
New York, Oct 7: There is a now a broad consensus among a majority of parents, media researchers and pediatricians that exposure to violent media can increase aggression in children, according to a US-based study.

"Some people claim there is no consensus about whether violent media can increase aggression in children, but this study shows that there is consensus," said Brad Bushman, lead author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University in the US.

The study found that 66 percent of researchers, 67 percent of parents and 90 percent of pediatricians agree or strongly agree that violent video games can increase aggressive behaviour among children.

Majority of these groups also believed that children's aggressive behaviour can be fuelled by viewing violent video games, movies, TV programmes, and Internet sites.

However, fewer than half agreed that violent comic books or literature would have such harmful effects on children.

"As in most areas of research, there is not complete agreement. But we found the overwhelming majority of media researchers, parents and pediatricians agree that violent media is harmful to children," Bushman added.

For the study, the researchers surveyed 371 media psychologists and communication scientists from three professional organisations; 92 members of the Council on Communication and Media of the American Academy of Pediatrics; and a nationally representative sample of 268 US parents.

There was considerable disagreement among the three groups as to whether media violence was a major factor in real-life violence.

But the evidence is clear, Bushman said, that exposure to violent media can predict less-serious forms of aggression.

The study appears online in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture.


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