Essay on The Effects of Television Violence on Children

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The Effects of Television Violence on Children

According to the Article ?Violence on Television? published by the American Psychological Association at the website http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/violence.html, ?violent programs on television lead to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers who watch those programs.? That's the word from a 1982 report by the National Institute of Mental Health, a report that confirmed and extended an earlier study done by the Surgeon General. As a result of these and other research findings, the American Psychological Association passed a resolution in February 1985 informing broadcasters and the public of the potential dangers that viewing violence on television can have for children.
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The researchers noticed real differences between the kids who watched the violent shows and those who watched nonviolent ones. According to Aletha Huston, Ph.D., ?children who watch the violent shows, even 'just funny' cartoons, were more likely to hit out at their playmates, argue, disobey class rules, leave tasks unfinished, and were less willing to wait for things than those who watched the nonviolent programs.? Findings from the laboratory are further supported by field studies, which have shown the long-range effects of televised violence. Leonard Eron, Ph.D., and his associates at the University of Illinois, found that children who watched many hours of TV violence when they were in elementary school tended to also show a ?higher level of aggressive behavior? when they became teenagers. By observing these youngsters until they were 30 years old, Dr. Eron found that the ones who ?had watched a lot of TV when they were eight years old were more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for criminal acts as adults?.

Television does influence children, however parents have tremendous power to moderate that influence. Because there is a great deal of violence in both adult and children's programming, just limiting the number of hours children watch television will probably
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