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TV exposure linked to aggressive behavior in young children

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posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:32 AM

TV exposure linked to aggressive behavior in young children

Plopping toddlers in front of television sets for a few hours a day may seem as American as apple pie and baseball. But this all-too-common habit could have a dark side. According to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the more TV three-year-old toddlers watch, the more they demonstrate aggressive behavior.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Related News Links:

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:32 AM
Now from day to day we recieve various reports from government implying certain day to day activities are bad for us or can even kill us, over hear in the UK we cant even fart without someone declaring you could get cancer ( maybe a bit OTT) but you get my point.

Then i came across this article which is warning that young children can become violent if to much T.V is consumed. Now this i can believe, as we all know after "taking the red pill" the media corporations are controlled by the elite who inturn control the masses.

How do we begin to deal with these people? We need to protect our children.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 05:55 AM
Yet, the rates of violent crime over the last 50 years show a clear downward trend despite the influx of violent media - television, videogames, comic books, etc.

Yes, exposure to violent media can be linked to more aggressive temporary behavior. However, as of yet there appears to be no strong correlation with long-term behavioral development. While varying levels of desensitization to violence can and do occur - it does not follow (nor has it been shown empirically) that desensitization to violence over-rules morality, empathy, etc. Nor does it appear to break down the line between reality and fantasy. Seeing a thousand grizzly murders night after night on prime time television drama does not seem to lessen the emotional impact of seeing someone brutally murdered right in front of you. However, seeing hundreds of people brutally murdered on the battlefield from the vantage point of a soldier in the field can.

I think the issue has to do with how we mentally classify the images we process. We may empathize with a character on a TV drama, but most viewers don't actually perceive those characters as real people. Similarly, we don't classify video game characters as real people either. I think there are two very different levels of desensitization to violence - depending upon whether your mind classifies it as human, or non-human.

Ergo, any discussion of violent media and possible correlations to violence in real life is incomplete without factoring in dehumanization. It's well studied and empirically demonstrated that dehumanization leads to a desensitization towards violence. Whether real or fantasy, the less you value the life and well being of others - the more apt you are to being apathetic to or a perpetrator in violence and harm towards others... which is why dehumanizing propaganda is so prolific, and I would suggest necessary, in times of genocide. Further, studies have shown that modern nomadic tribes who engage in dehumanization rituals on themselves before engaging in conflict (face painting, ritualized dances, etc) have far higher rates of not just murder - but of sadistic behavior like torture, mutilation, rape, etc.

Now, that being said, the article the OP presented gave this analysis:

Bottom line: common sense as well as science should make it abundantly clear that spending hours in front of television is unhealthy for young bodies and minds.

And this is very true. While the television can be an indispensable tool for mass communication, marketing, and entertainment - time spent in front of the television does detract from other activities children should be engaging in as they develop. Especially in regards to levels of physical activity and social interaction within peer-groups.

A few other studies:

PubMed: Do Children Really Confuse appearance with reality?

new tests show that young children generally understand appearance-reality discrepancies as well as fantasy-reality distinctions. These tests instead implicate children's failure to understand the unfamiliar discourse format of the standard test. This misunderstanding might reveal a subtler difficulty in making logical inferences about questions.

PubMed: The role of creative control and culture in children's fantasy/reality judgments.

Young children's ability to differentiate fantasy from reality has been seriously underestimated because of methodological problems and overgeneralization from children's performance in situations in which they had no control over the content of the fantasy and/or were presented with misleading information. It is important to keep in mind that there are many types of fantasy-reality distinctions, and that cultural context plays an important role in the interpretation given to children's activities.

PubMed: Violent television viewing during preschool is associated with antisocial behavior during school age.

Data were available for 184 boys and 146 girls at both time periods. Adjusting for baseline Behavioral Problem Index scores and age, parental education, maternal depression, and cognitive and emotional support, violent television programming was associated with an increased risk for antisocial behavior for boys but not for girls. Neither educational nor nonviolent programming was associated with increased risk for boys or girls.
Viewing of violent programming by preschool boys is associated with subsequent aggressive behavior. Modifying the content that is viewed by young children may be warranted.

PubMed: Associations between content types of early media exposure and subsequent attentional problems.

Viewing of educational television before age 3 was not associated with attentional problems 5 years later. However, viewing of either violent or non-violent entertainment television before age 3 was significantly associated with subsequent attentional problems, and the magnitude of the association was large. Viewing of any content type at ages 4 to 5 was not associated with subsequent problems. CONCLUSIONS: The association between early television viewing and subsequent attentional problems is specific to noneducational viewing and to viewing before age 3.

The third study I posted seem to imply a contradiction with my earlier statements. However, it has not yet been shown that violent media is the cause of the correlation in anti-social and violent behavior in and of itself. It seems more likely to me that it is more a contributing factor in setting up the conditions which create the situations that can lead to these long term behavior patterns. For instance, in the fourth study I posted regarding attention spans; it implies that it's not just violent media - but rather entertainment media in general (both violent and non-violent) the child is exposed to prior to age 3 which can show a strong correlation to problems with attention and focus, and which in turn can lead to problems in school and family environment that foster frustration and increased antisocial or violent behavior.

... and, again, as demonstrated in the video above - none of the correlations between violent media and tendencies towards violent behavior have actually manifested into correlations with increased real-world violence. This doesn't mean that they aren't having exactly the effect the studies suggest... but, as Pinker explains, there are other factors of influence in society which counteract the actual manifestations of violence.

For an analogy, imagine you come home from work and on the table is your favorite pie, freshly cooked and smelling delicious. On the table is a note from your spouse telling you not to eat it because it's for your new neighbor. You clearly want to eat the pie. Your mouth waters, and your mind is flooded with mental imagery that you can almost taste it. So why don't you eat it when you clearly want to? What's to stop you?

Our minds are not a single-solitary entity, but rather an amalgamation of competing mental processes interacting with and against each other. What I'm suggesting is that this same conflict manifests on a societal level as well, emergent from collections of individual minds that operate this way. Correlating exposure to images and desensitizing violence in youth by the way of television and media can create behavioral expressions - like your mouth watering over the pie. But there are other mitigating factors which suppress you from the actual act of eating it.

[edit on 20-11-2009 by Lasheic]

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 05:58 AM
I'm completely not convinced on the being exposed to violent medium stuffs. The violent crime rate has been slowly going down, as was suggested above, and went down dramatically around the time that violent first person shooters on PC became popular.

The only reason crime rates are still high is because we have a ton of arbitrary laws that get people put in jail for things that are not that big of a deal to begin with.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 06:01 AM
reply to post by kayne1982

If you are letting your toddlers watch unsuitable material, yes I would agree.

But surely no-one does that?

Aggressive behaviour comes from their environment and their role models,
ie their parents.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 08:07 AM
i agree with the theory sorta.

The other day i let my brother in law watch my 5 year old girl.
he was letting her watch the box set of family guy..
that kid later than night called my pregnant wife a fat arse douchebag.
caught us both off guard.
finally she told us she was watching family guy with her uncle when he watched her.

My brother in law thought it was funny..i was pissed as all get out..
but my kid never cussed before..or was ever rude to us.
till she watched family guy...which i forbid any kid to watch in my presence.

They claim no child should watch family guy ...yet it is a cartoon.
what kid do you know is not gonna watch it if they never saw it before.

I think we are all desensitized from movies and tv..

[edit on 20-11-2009 by TheAmused]

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 08:27 AM
When you get the crap like 'teletubbies' and other dire programs that actually don't show anything of value, when you get news stories that basically show negativity or sensationalist news , doom and gloom, shows that feature 'gangsta' culture quick easy cash stepping on teh backs of others or cop shows that teach violence , then I can understand why people 'supposedly' become violent.
And if THATS the case, why doesn't the government or media recommend switching off the TV, going out walking, or sitting reading a book instead?

Oh thats right, ratings, and sensationalist programs = money.

People not sat infront of the zombie box means no income for them.

You'll hear all this nonsense about children or indeed adults having emotional issues and that its down to TV, movies, or video games, but you NEVER EVER hear them say "switch off your TV and go out and doing something beneficial to your health".

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 09:00 AM
I just dont buy this crap! You know what else is linked to aggressive behavior?
Couches, school work, sandwiches, over head lights, windows, carpet, squabbles with friends, iced tea, mom, dad, siblings, Willy Wonka, games, sports, email, holidays, shampoo, family pet, Pixies CD, cell phones, car rides,
snow, sun glasses, painting, mowing the lawn, coca cola, birds, umbrellas and left-overs.

All of the above CAN be linked too.

The Fort Hood guy must have watched an insane amount of TV when he was a kid... ohh and what about before TV? gin rummy? hop-scotch? plays? All red flags if you ask me.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 09:04 AM
reply to post by keepureye2thesky

So what you are saying is that violence can come from anywhere?

You are probably right.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 09:29 AM
reply to post by kayne1982

i wonder, then, how they explain all of the adolescent aggression that existed before TV was invented?

The kids around today, who are spastic, the ones who are REALLY annoying, are so because their parents don't know what discipline is.

Find me a spoiled rotten child that you'd give anything to smack the piss out of, and ill show you two parents who need that smack 10 times more.

Its those same parents who are blaming it on TV.

TV isn't a baby sitter. It's an entertainer.

You can't take your child to an Eminem concert and then get angry because there was explicit language.

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