posted on May, 20 2004 @ 01:59 PM
Here's an interesting article, I copied it since I couldn't get the link to work.
Graphic, Violent Images Can Curb Kids' Aggression
Tue May 18, 2004 03:25 PM ET
By Alison McCook
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Showing children realistic and graphic images of the consequences of violence appears to quell some of their aggressive
tendencies, new research reports.
After seeing pictures of people treated for gunshot wounds, including a man whose stomach was ripped apart by a bullet and a woman who lost her
8-month old fetus when she was shot in the abdomen, children and teens demonstrated an improvement in their attitudes toward conflict and aggression.
After looking at those pictures, participants showed signs that they would be "less likely to solve interpersonal conflict in a violent way," study
author Dr. Edward E. Cornwell, III told Reuters Health.
Cornwell argued that some of the current problems of violence among teens and children may stem from the fact that they are often surrounded by media
that "minimize the consequences of violence."
For instance, Cornwell described a recent rap video that includes a scene in which a singer is shot, but is followed by another scene in which he
appears unscathed by the experience.
In response, the researcher said that he and his colleagues are currently putting together a public service announcement that holds the images of
violence included in rap videos up to actual photos of trauma victims. "This is reality," said Cornwell, chief of adult trauma at Johns Hopkins
Hospital in Baltimore.
In the study, Cornwell and his team asked 97 boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 17 about their attitudes toward conflict and aggression. The
researchers then showed the teens and children pictures of people who had been shot, and resurveyed 48 participants an average of 30 days later to see
if their attitudes had changed.
All children and teens were participating in programs held at Police Athletic League (PAL) centers. PAL is a program designed to deter youth crime and
The researchers saw a general improvement in attitudes toward conflict and aggression, and noted a particularly significant decrease in aggressive
tendencies among the female participants.
In an interview, Cornwell noted that it is important to look at girls' attitudes toward violence, since many children and teens are raised by single
mothers, and therefore likely get some of their attitudes about aggression from women.
Cornwell conceded that the children and teens in the study may not represent all youths. The fact that they were enrolled in PAL programs suggests
they were motivated to get off of the streets.
He added that the best time to show kids the effects of violence may be early, before they have had a chance to experiment with drugs and crime.
Waiting until it's too late can be equivalent to "offering swimming lessons from the bottom of the pool," he said.
The researchers presented their findings this month during the annual conference of the American Trauma Society in Arlington, Virginia.
© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.
[Edited on 22-5-2004 by Star Eagle]