Tv Violence

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Tv Violence & Children Essay, Research Paper Television Violence and Our Children American children watch an average of three to four hours of television daily. Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior. Unfortunately, much of today’s television programs are violent. Hundreds of studies of the effects of television violence on children and teenagers have found that children may become “immune” to the horror of violence, gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems, imitate the violence they observe on television, and identify with certain characters, and victims or victimizers. As a consequence, a major education gap, exist regarding televisions contribution to the problem of violence in America. Among the

popular myths are one, that television violence has no effect on the viewer; secondly, television violence has a cathartic effect of allowing the viewer to blow off steam, and lastly, violence presented in a cartoon is even less harmful than live action violence. Contrary to popular opinion, children are active viewers of what they watch on television. They bring their existing beliefs, attitudes, and characteristic ways of processing social information to their viewing. From a cognitive developmental perspective, adolescents are thought to be more competent decision-makers than younger children are but less adept than adults are. An adolescent’s involvement in risk taking behaviors may reflect newly acquired abstract thinking skills. Abilities to think hypothetically,

futuristically and to integrate multiple aspects of a task or problem reflect formal operational thinking and are essential to reasoned decisions. Compared with adults, adolescents tend to reason less well with decisions due to a brief period in which to consolidate formal operational thinking skills and less opportunity to apply higher level cognitive functioning to real life situations. Aggressive children selectively attend to and recall aggressive cues. When presented with videotaped stimuli, aggressive children, relative to non-aggressive peers, have difficulty shifting attention away from aggressive stimuli, are more easily distracted by aggressive cues while completing another tasks, and recall a higher portion of hostile cues than neutral or benevolent cues. This tendency

to selectively attend to aggressive stimuli is probably a result of both motivational and cognitive factors. Aggressive children are more aroused by aggression and they posses cognitive scripts and beliefs that facilitate integration of aggressive stimuli into their existing memory structures. Childhood aggression is the result of multiple and interactive factors, including dispositional factors and environmental factors. Furthermore, aggression is highly stable from early childhood through adulthood. The stability in aggression is best understood as a result of both continuities in child and environmental factors and, importantly, the child’s transactions with his or her environment. However, a long-term consequence of aggression is peer rejection. Aggressive rejected children

have fewer opportunities to learn adaptive social skills and are the recipients of more negative peer rejection. The negative response of peers contributes to their belief that they must defend themselves from a hostile world. Children’s aggression viewed by others is considered as unjustified, and they are further rejected. Aggressive rejected children begin to associate with other aggressive rejected children who share their antisocial norms and beliefs, and they disengage from school, increasing the likelihood of academic failure. Deviant peer group affiliation and academic failure are both implicated as risk factors for criminal behavior. Television viewing habits may become part of this system of variables that maintain and intensify levels of aggressiveness. A child’s