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20.14: TV Violence

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    Learning Objectives

    • Does Television Viewing Encourage Aggression in Children?


    Research conducted by

    Mariana Fernandez, University of Houston-Downtown undergraduate

    Case study prepared by

    Nichole Rivera


    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?

    Design Issues

    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

    Table \(\PageIndex{1}\): Description of Variables
    Variable Description
    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

    Data Files


    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.

    This page titled 20.14: TV Violence is shared under a Public Domain license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by David Lane via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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