- Does Television Viewing Encourage Aggression in Children?
Research conducted by
Mariana Fernandez, University of Houston-Downtown undergraduate
Case study prepared by
How much television is too much for children? Television advocates espouse the educational benefits that children may reap from instructive programming. However, many researchers say that excess television watching may contribute to aggressive behavior in children. Young boys, in particular may be susceptible to this effect. What are the effects, if any, on children’s behavior when television is used as a babysitter?
In a survey of University of Houston-Downtown students, parents reported their children's age, characteristic behavior, and television viewing habits. Convenience sampling was used to gather \(30\) subjects (\(N=30\)).
Questions to Answer
Is there a relationship between hours of television watched and child's obedience? Will a child be more or less aggressive if he/she watches a lot of television?
This survey offered a very limited sample (\(N=30\)), which was further hindered by reporting participants’ filling out an individual survey for each individual child. This contributes to some lack of true variability in responses because participants tended to report similar behavior for each child. This may magnify errors associated with self-reported data. The sample would provide greater reliability if each participant reported on only one child’s behavior.
The survey has broad questions which do not provide much context for reported behaviors. In some instances aggression may be positively rated, but this survey treats all aggression as a negative characteristic. In addition, the instrument itself measures largely nominal data, making in depth analysis difficult.
Descriptions of Variables
|TV hours||Total number of TV hours watched per day|
|Obedience||How obedient the child is
1 = very obedient, 5 = not obedient
|Attitude||Attitude while playing with other children
1 = non-aggressive, 5 = very aggressive
TV Guide - Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers v. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Boyatzis, Chris J. and Matillo Gina M. (1995). Effects of "The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" on Children's Aggression with Peers. Child Study Journal, 25 (1), 45-57.
- Charlton, Davie. (2001). Monitoring Children's Behavior in Remote Community Before and Six Years After the Availability of Broadcast TV. North America Journal of Psychology, 3, 429-441.
- Huesmann, Rowell L., Moise-Titus, Jessica, Podolski, Cheryl-Lynn, Eron, Leonard D. (2003). Longitudinal Relations Between Children's Exposure to TV Violence and their Aggressive and Violent Behavior in Young Adulthood: 1977-1992. Developmental Psychology 39(2), 201-221.
- Troseth, Georgene L. (2003). TV Guide: Two-Year-Old Children Learn to Use Video as a Source of Information. Developmental Psychology 39 (1), 140-150.
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