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Media Violence: Impact on Children and Families


Media Violence: Impact on Children and Families Debbie Richardson, M.S. Child Development Assistant Specialist March 5, 2005 OK Assoc. of Family & Consumer Sciences ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Media Violence: Impact on Children and Families

Media ViolenceImpact on Children and Families
  • Debbie Richardson, M.S.
  • Child Development Assistant Specialist
  • March 5, 2005
  • OK Assoc. of Family Consumer Sciences

Media Virtual Violence
  • Television all types of programs including
    news, reality shows, music videos, commercials,
    sports, etc.
  • Movies
  • Video and Computer Games
  • Internet
  • Other types include music, toys, comic books

An Average American Child
  • Spends
  • 28 hours a week with TV
  • 30 hours a week in a classroom
  • 39 minutes a week talking oneonone with a
  • By high school graduation
  • Spends18,000 hours in front of a TV set, and only
    13,000 hours in a classroom
  • Observes 200,000 violent acts and 16,000 murders

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  • Over 4,000 studies have examined the correlation
    of television violence and violent behavior in
  • These studies make a compelling case for a
    significant impact.

How is Media Violence Portrayed?
  • Clean lack of blood, minimal suffering,
    invincible cartoon characters.
  • Frequently rewarded or unpunished.
  • Clear boundaries between good guy/bad guy.
  • Aggressors are portrayed as attractive.
  • Conveys violence is justified.
  • Humor may be used.
  • Pleasurable Make My Day.

Childrens TV Programming
  • Violence is more prevalent and concentrated in
    programs targeted to viewers under age 13
  • 79 of childrens programs contain humorous

The Influence of Media on Children
  • Dramatically influences children at all ages.
  • Children are physically passive, yet mentally
    alert when watching TV.
  • Repetition the violence becomes so familiar
    that it becomes normal.
  • Reduced boundaries between adult and child
  • Both quantity and quality matter.

Young children under age 8
  • Often believe in magical and supernatural
    creatures and powers.
  • Can be swayed by how things appear rather than
    how things really are.
  • Generally judge characters or actions as real
    simply due to observing through TVs magic
  • Readily imitate violent cartoon characters.

Young children who view too much media violence..
  • Begin to see violence as an acceptable way of
    resolving conflict, using physical or verbal
    abuse toward other children.
  • May become less sensitive to the pain and
    suffering of others.
  • May see others as enemies, rather than like
  • Natural anxieties may be magnified.

Young children who view too much media violence..
  • May have more difficulty getting along with
    others, responding with kindness, and developing
  • Hear limited language and communication skills to
    talk about problems and how to solve.
  • Limits their imaginations encourages imitation
    play rather than creative play.

Four LongTerm Effects of Viewing Violence
  • Most people do not become violent when they
  • watch violence. But they may be affected in
  • these ways.
  • Aggressor Effect
  • Victim Effect
  • Bystander Effect
  • Appetite Effect

A 17 year study of 700 children found that at age
  • Involved in Aggressive
  • acts by ages 16 22
  • 5.7
  • 22.5
  • 28.8
  • Daily TV Viewing
  • less than 1 hour
  • 1 3 hours
  • more than 3 hours

Heavy Viewers of TV
  • Kids watching 4 or more hours
  • per day
  • Put in less effort on school work
  • Have poorer reading skills
  • Play less well with friends
  • Have fewer hobbies and activities
  • More likely to be overweight

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TV Ratings
  • TV-Y All Children Designed for young audience,
    including children ages 2-6.
  • TV-Y7 For age 7 and up. More appropriate for
    children with skills to distinguish between
    make-believe and reality. May include mild
    fantasy or comedic violence, or may frighten
    children under the age of 7.
  • TV-Y7-FV Fantasy Violence May be more intense or
  • TV-G General Audience Usually appropriate for
    all ages. Contains little or no violence, no
    strong language, and little or no sexual dialogue
    or situations.
  • TV-PG Parental Guidance Suggested May be
    unsuitable for younger children. Contains
    moderate violence (V), some sexual situations
    (S), infrequent coarse language (L), and/or
    suggestive dialogue (D).
  • TV-14 Parents Strongly Cautioned Recommended
    children under 14 not watch unattended. Contains
    intense violence (V), intense sexual situations
    (S), strong coarse language (L), and/or intensely
    suggestive dialogue (D).
  • TV-MA Mature Audience Only Designed for adults
    and may be unsuitable for children under 17.
    Contains graphic violence (V), explicit sexual
    activity (S), and/or crude indecent language (L).

Not All Entertainment Media is Negative
  • There is strong evidence that childrens shows
    developed to teach academic and social skills can
    help children learn effectively.

TV Tips to Reduce Violence
  • Plan family viewing give children a choice to
  • Remove the TV from a childs bedroom
  • Offer other options play games, read, be
    creative and active
  • Be informed about program ratings and content
  • Watch with children and talk about the programs
  • Point out that real violence results in pain or
  • Change the channel or turn off the TV when
    offensive material comes on. Explain why.

Use of Video Games
  • 67 of households with children own video game
  • At least half of U.S. children are now using the
    Internet for homework, games, and entertainment.
  • Violent themes compose 60 90 of the most
    popular video games.
  • 90 of 4th graders and 75 of 8th graders report
    playing 1 or more hours per week either at home
    or arcades.

Video Games
  • Games are increasingly more violent, lifelike,
    and accurate in depictions of violence.
  • Playing video games allows practice of violence
    in ways TV does not.
  • Some are used for training by military and law
  • Most retailers make little effort to restrict
    sales of maturerated games to minors.

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ESRB Ratings
  • Entertainment Software Rating Board
  • EC Early Childhood (ages 3)
  • E Everyone (ages 6)
  • T Teen (ages 13)
  • M Mature (ages 17)
  • A Adults only
  • RP Rating Pending

Video Game Content Labels
  • A study of 396 mainstream T-rated video game
    labels in
  • 2001 indicated
  • 94 had violent content
  • 15 contained sexual themes
  • 14 used profanity
  • A random sample of 81 of these games comparing
  • actual content to the labels indicated
  • 20 with sexual content including partial nudity
    had a notation on the label
  • 17 with profanity had a notation on the label

Tips for Electronic Games
  • Know the content and procedures of games.
  • Pay attention to ratings.
  • Require parental permission to purchase or rent.
  • Discuss game content with children.
  • Observe children playing periodically play
  • Establish clear playing guidelines time limits.
  • Assure adult supervision for arcade game playing.
  • Select games that promote problem solving, skill
    building, and cooperation, rather than violence.

Media Literacy Be a Critical Viewer

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Be Media Literate
  • Be a wise consumer.
  • Watch programs and play video games with the
    child, and discuss what is seen.
  • Monitor and limit access to violent programs and
    games. Explain why they are harmful.
  • Select programs and games that promote problem
    solving, cooperation and learning.

Be Media Literate
  • Be cautious of heavily advertised products and
    toys linked with violent programs.
  • Contact TV stations/producers to express
    opinions, when offended and when pleased.
  • Help educate others in the community.
  • To offset peer pressure, contact other parents
    agree to enforce similar rules.

Help children understand
  • Real life violence hurts people.
  • Real weapons hurt or kill people.
  • If a show is scary or confusing, they can talk to
    an adult about it.
  • Violent toys, shows, games may seem exciting in
    pretend, but reallife violence is not fun.

  • Debbie Richardson, M.S.
  • Child Development Assistant Specialist
  • Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
  • 405-744-6231