Bang, Bang: Media Violence and Bullies
What You Need To Know
Television offers some amazing programs for children, but beware. Many kids’ shows can cause aggressive behavior in first graders.
How You Can Help
Parents are often tempted to park their first grader in front of the television for a few hours. They know where their children are, and they figure that Nickelodeon won’t be too bad for kids, right? Wrong.
Many studies on American children over the last half-century continue to link television violence with increased children’s aggression:
- Children’s programs contain more violence than any other form of programming.
- A first grader who watches two hours of cartoons a day, will see 10,000 violent incidents in a year.
- Exposure to violence in the media can desensitize first graders to violence.
- Children who see violence on television are more likely to imitate those aggressive acts in their play.
- TV violence can breed bullies. A study of third, fourth, and fifth graders revealed that bullies were more likely to watch violent content than other children.
- Teenagers who watch violent programs tend to be more aggressive and participate in delinquent behavior.
It’s not only violent content that can cause problems. In Nurtureshock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson argues that educational content often includes ‘relational aggression’ – children using psychological rather than physical bullying, for example, by being mean or disrespectful, spreading rumors, or freezing out others. And although the show will end with the good guys on top, children don’t always learn from the moral outcome, instead taking away lessons on aggression.
For more information on television violence, please see the full article:
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