Television Violence: How It Affects Children
Many television programs involve substantial amounts of violence in one form or another that causes people to think that television is the cause of violence in today?s youth. Many question whether television disturbs the minds of adolescent children who cannot yet comprehend the truth of fiction and reality. Studies show that violent television viewing affects younger children more since their perception of what is real or unreal is not as acute as in older adults – meaning that aggressive adults learn their behavior as children. By watching portrayals of violence, children learn to accept aggressive behavior by becoming desensitized to the effects of violence and imitate it by modeling aggressive behaviors.
According to the Institute for the Social Research, an aggressive behavior is learned behavior which is being taught to our children by the media violence that they are exposed to daily (Chen, 1994 p.23). In Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis, written by Albert Bandura in 1973, indicates that sometimes watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. However, the impact of viewing violence on television may become immediately evident in the child?s behavior, or it may not surface till later (Canton and Wilson, 1984).
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