Agree or disagree Violence in media is said to influence aggressive behaviors of children?

Wilson et al. (2002) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007) found that children’s TV programs were more violent than adult programs, showing up to 30 violent acts per hour. Violence in children’s programs is often justified, rewarded, humorous, and portrayed by attractive characters, all characteristics that have been shown to increase subsequent imitation by viewers (e.g., Bandura, Ross, & Ross, 1961; Berkowitz, 1970; Berkowitz & Rawlings, 1963) (in Bandura, 1977). Moreover, the degree of violence was related to the type of children’s programs. Slapstick (Tom & Jerry), Superhero (Power Rangers), and adventure or mystery (Scooby Doo) programs had considerably more violence than programs focusing on social relationships (Care Bears) or magazine formats (Barney). Overall, Wilson et al. (2002) concluded that violence in children’s programs proposed considerable risks for young viewers. There is a widespread belief that children are especially vulnerable to negative effects from media violence in general compares with adolescents and adults. We commonly believe that children are highly vulnerable to harm in the world. Because, children have less experience than adolescents and adults do. Piaget and Inhelder (1969) (in W. James Potter, 2003) state children have not yet developed a high degree of thinking ability, emotional control, or moral reasoning. So, when children are very young and their minds are relatively undeveloped, they have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality. Cantor (1994) (in W. James Potter, 2003) said children often do not understand the “make believe” nature of the monsters in movies.

When thinking about the media and the potential for harmful effects from exposure, particularly to violence there is ample evidence that children as a group are given a special status.  First, when we look at the list of consumer advocacy groups that have been created to help educate the public about the risk of all kinds of media exposure and to put pressure on congress as well as the media themselves to change or at least to label their content, we can see that many of those groups focus on children. Furthermore, Parents’ Choice and the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board also indicate a focus on children. The second evidence illustrating that children are regarded as an especially vulnerable group is in the behaviour of public officials. W. James Potter (2003) has state throughout the past three decades of congressional concern on the issues of media violence; all of the proposed legislation has focused on protecting children. These bills fall generally into one of three categories, which are safe harbour, report cards, and block devices. Based on this example of situation on the protecting children from media violence, we can see it is easy to accept the belief that children are especially vulnerable to negative effect from exposure to media violence when we thinks of example that we have observed in our everyday lives. Especially when a family watches a horror film, it is the children who exhibit the most extreme reactions and who have the nightmares. Also, when we see copycat behaviours, it is usually children playing cops and robbers in the backyard or wrestling in the school. These effects are easy to observe, because they happen almost immediately after the exposure to violence. Nevertheless, when the criteria for causality accepted by the scientific community are applied to the research in this area, the conclusion is clear; exposure to media violence is causally related to aggressive behaviour.

So, I’m totally agreed that violence in media is said to influence aggressive behaviours of children. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, television show that direct correlation exists between television violence and aggressive behavior and heavy television viewers are more fearful, less trusting and more apprehensive than lights viewers. Media is a tool that may be the intermediary between the owner media and the target audience or the public. The role of media is very important to convey various forms of information such as education, culture, economics, entertainment and news. However, nowadays in Malaysian context many broadcast media plan in the form of mystical, crime stories, the wild and way of life entertainment programs that are not compatible with the cultural life in our country. These programs are aired by all media channels whether television, the internet, interactive media, newspapers, books, magazines and articles. Television programs also are racing to present the highest impressions hot and violent and difficult to reach by the idea of attracting attention audience. This phenomenon is said to be the cause of the violent cultural epicenter and adapted in the audience whether adult teenagers or even children (Mallick, 1996) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007). According to the report of the Criminal Division and Violence in America, in
2001 there were over 20,000 cases of murder, rape 75.000 and 600.000 cases
physical assault that occurs within a year (Taylor, PePlau and Sears, 2001). Psychological experts have made many studies and found exposure to aggression in the media is one of the main reasons why this occurs. In recent years researchers found in the treatment of television and video into a catalyst in improving behavior among children’s (Pennel and Browne, 1999). Violent in the media as well as increasing the stimulus and cause of person to lose control, while in the world significant (Anderson and Dill, 2000). The study also mentions the children’s were the most affected by the effects of aggressive behavior repeated exposure of these behaviors in the media (Pennel and Browne, 1999). According to Stein and Friderich (1972) (in George Rodman, 2009), who watched the children’s aggressive violent films in the media have a tendency to behave aggressive than those who did not witness it. This study shows that watching violent media has resulted in children’s behaving aggressively. The study also found that the observations on the behavior of violent people, it can change aggressive behavior of students for violent acts, even in cases certain others are not directly intended to influence. The presence of strong modeling effects of media can also affect attitudes, emotions and behavior of aggressive students to behave aggressively, although no such effect occurs only through exposure to the actions others (Stein and Friderich, 1972) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007). Eron (1982) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007), in a study on the media and violent impact on children’s aggressive behavior has indicated children’s aggressive more easily affected by violent scenes in the media over children’s normal. This occurred because the children’s aggressive were also features aggressiveness in them and when they watch violent in the media, the behavior will be easily triggered violent behavior physical verbal and nonverbal. Study Eron (1982) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007) also found that children’s aggressive frequent viewing of violent media tend to behave aggressively influence of the models that they watch violent. As a result, children’s, often have problems in establishing the identity of self and identity as constantly exposed to violent situations when they reach adolescence (Ma’rof, 2001). This is because children and teenagers are among those who have not done in life and still in the process of forming the personalities themselves.

Discuss your view on this issue based on at least two theories that you have learned in class

Based on this statement on that issue, I have chosen three theories was related in the media violent to help us more understanding about this issues which is Cultivation theory,  Social Learning Theory by Albert Bandura (1977) and Uses and Gratification Theory by  Bumler dan Katz in 1974.

Cultivation theory looks at viewing violence from a cumulative, long-term perspective, involving three areas: institutional-policy perspectives, messages about violence on television, and ultimately effects (Morgan, Shanahan, & Signorielli, in press). Cultivation theory argues that to understand the effects of viewing on attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors we must examine television as a collective symbolic environment with an underlying formulaic structure. Cultivate common world views and stereotypes. Violence is one such theme and is especially important in the cultivation perspective because people, especially children, are more likely to experience violence when they watch television (particularly cartoons) than in real life. Consequently, cultivation theory predicts that children’s conceptions about violence are more likely to reflect the messages about violence they see, day in and day out, on television. Cultivation research has found that those who watch more television are more likely to view the world as a mean and scary place, to believe that crime and violence are more prevalent than they actually are, and to take precautions to protect themselves, their homes, and their families against crime (Morgan et al., in press).

Regarding the length of exposure necessary to cause a violent response in viewers, a study by Donnerstein and Berkowitz (1981) (in rosly Kayar, 2007) found that a mere 5 minutes of exposure to violent sexual content was enough to increase the likelihood of an aggressive response in adult males in comparison to a control group. In addition, the FCC report could have cited the National Television Violence Study’s summary of the experimental research on the effect of contextual variables on viewer aggression (Federman, 1998) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007). Then Cross-sectional surveys also measuring aggressive and violent behaviour and exposure to television violence have consistently demonstrated that higher levels of exposure are associated with higher levels of aggression and violence. Experimental research and longitudinal studies have shown that exposure to television violence precedes aggressive behaviour. Similarly (although experiments are better evidence of non-spuriousness), both experimental research and longitudinal studies have ruled out alternative explanations for the relationship between exposure and aggression.

From the standpoint of social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986) (Rosly kayar, 2007), negative comments about aggression may function to alter children’s perceptions of the reward or punishment contingencies associated with the behaviour and thereby affect children’s subsequent imitative behaviour. According to a family communication perspective (e.g., Austin, 2001; Buerkel-Rothfuss & Buerkel, 2001), comments made by caregivers convey a set of values that may counteract the implicit message conveyed by a program. Both theoretical approaches predict that criticism will reduce the adoption of aggressive attitudes and behaviours, whereas praise will promote it. Several researchers have also noted that adult co-viewing of controversial content without making comments sometimes communicates tacit approval of the behaviours witnessed and thereby enhances the effect of the content (Austin, 2001; Buerkel-Rothfuss & Buerkel, 2001; Nathanson, 1999).

Bandura (1973) found that learning through observation or modeling
is a key technique in the form of violent reaction. With observe the reaction model, there are two forms of response that is learned and do it. When you look at the behavior of the model, students learn and evaluation of the response is when interacting with others in which we do violent action as a result of a learned response. Among those adults, their willingness to act violent normally based on the presence of model is violent. The model is probably not acting as a source of direction or may act as a violent ’cause’.

Besides that, Social Learning Theory also explains the nature of man to imitate the behavior and actions of others. This situation is most pronounced among children and adolescents. In a study conducted by Bandura, he introduced the concept of Social Learning or the Learning Observations suggest that an individual is socially accepted behavior mimics the behavior is not well accepted by society. This study is associated with the Social Learning Theory as children learn behaviors through observation and imitation, and involve “role model”, particularly when exposed to programs that display a negative action in the media. According to Bandura (1977) (in Md. Salleh Hj Hassan and Sim Yee Lian, 2006), adolescents emulate anything that interests them. Although there are studies that prove the erotic materials and negative in the media does not cause beyond the control of sexual desire and deviant behavior, but often see or read such material can change the perception of children about sex and delinquency. Social learning theory emphasizes the interaction between humans and the environment (Bandura, 1977). He suggested the concept of ‘determinism’ which says that human influence his fate by controlling the forces in the vicinity, but they are also influenced by the powers of this environment. This situation is an interactive process, mutual respect and reciprocity between human behavior, environment and internal processes such as cognition and perception. This means that humans can control the requirements and behavior, while the environment is to control and influence what is done by individuals. Based on all this human interaction will only choose the very best of several options available. Thus, if the child violent behavior witnessed on television, and chooses a deviant situation is the violent behavior is the best thing for him or her.

Desensitization (Potter, 1999) (Baran and Davis, 2009) and social learning theory (Bandura, 2002), for example, examine the immediate and typically harmful effects of viewing violence. Priming, or the activation of associated ideas about violence, may also be critical in assessing the effects of violence in children’s programs (Potter, 1999; Kirsh, 2006). Similarly, priming may have a critical impact on children’s learning behaviours. Beyond direct imitation, the way violence is typically portrayed in the media often leads to the social learning of unrealistic and unhealthy attitudes toward violence and aggression. Social learning theory based on the assumption that people learn how to behave by observing others, including those portrayed in the media. In which a child learns the expectations, norms, and values of society. Two other theories are closely related to social learning theory. Both aggressive stimulation and catalytic theories suggest that media might be one of several factors that could cause someone to act out in an antisocial way. Both theories suggest, for example that a young person who was angry and depressed about his or her social life, and  who also had a bad day at school might be pushed over the edge into violence behaviour by the depiction of violence in entertainment media, especially if that violence is rewarded rather than punished. Repeatedly viewing media violence for entertainment leads to desensitization— that is, a diminishing of the normal emotional response to the depiction of violence and interpersonal hostilities. Research shows that over time, with repeated exposure, viewers show a lessened degree of emotional disturbance to violent images (e.g., Cline, Croft, & Courrier, 1973) (in Shirley Biagi, 1999) and a reduction in sympathy for the victims of violence (e.g., Mullin & Linz, 1995) (in Shirley Biagi, 1999). Violence that is extensive or graphic and violence that is portrayed in a humorous context are especially likely to promote desensitization (Gunter, 1985; Linz, Donnerstein, & Penrod, 1988) (in Shirley Biagi, 1999).

On the Uses and Gratification Theory view about the influence of media violence towards the children aggressive behaviour, this theory look on how the children used the variety way to achieved their satisfaction by using television.

In this theory also, we can look on how the children have high exposure to the media. For example, electronic media certainly affects children and learn to imitate the behavior (Johnson et al., 2002). In a study of 426 samples of students in six colleges in California North (213 men and 213 women) aged 15 to 18 years found that the adventure scenes has lead students a behavior control problems, emotion and learning. Study results the video showing the students were often shouted, feeling depressed, scared and crying while after the video showed that the students have repeats and exhibited aggressive behavior of viewers of the media. By that in his study, he concluded that children and teenagers exposed to violent behavior and learn to accept violence in daily life. They in turn will form a positive attitude the use of force and ultimately failed to notice the effects of the negative effects of such violence behavior. This study was supported by a study conducted by Willes and Strasburger (1998) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007) conducted in New Jersey against the 224 people primary school students (9 to 11 years) and middle school students (14 to 15 years). In this study, students are required to list aggressive behavior is often available from the media and often is done or imitated by them. Findings indicated that there were three types of behavior that is often imitated by aggressive students of physical, verbal, and anti-social as hitting, pulling hair, kick, taught, humiliate, harass, boycott, say, defamation and damage to public facilities. Willes and Strasburger (1998) (in Rosly kayar, 2007) also found that aggressive behavior is a source of social status or the effective way to solve the problem. Therefore, image and media information displays of violence and bad behavior will contribute to the imitation. This behavior, which will then led to treatment of violence in students and students consider aggressive behavior is acceptable, popular and humor.


Support with concrete and specific example.

Nathanson and Cantor (2000) hypothesized that asking children to focus on a cartoon victim’s feelings would encourage empathy with the character and reduce the likelihood that the cartoon would promote aggressive attitudes. Their study involved showing a Woody Woodpecker cartoon to children in second through sixth grades under two conditions: One group, the mediation group, was asked before viewing the cartoon to try to think about the man and his feelings during the cartoon. (The man in the story was a tree surgeon who had interrupted Woody’s nap and was consequently the victim of Woody’s attacks.) A second group saw the same cartoon with no mediation, and a third group did not watch the cartoon. A week before the cartoon-viewing session, children had filled out a questionnaire that included a baseline measure of aggressive tendencies (e.g., “If another kid tried to take something that was mine, I might push or hit that kid”). After viewing the cartoon (or not viewing it, in the control condition), they filled out a similar questionnaire with different items (e.g., “If someone was really bothering me, I might push or hit them to get back at them”). The findings revealed that among boys, those who watched the cartoon without the mediation showed a significantly higher acceptance of aggression than did those who did not watch the cartoon. However, the boys who watched the cartoon with the mediation were as low in their acceptance of aggression as the boys who had not watched the cartoon. Among girls, no effects of the cartoon or the mediation on attitudes toward aggression were observed. The girls scored very low in all three conditions. Other ratings revealed that among both boys and girls, the mediation reduced liking for Woody and reduced the degree to which children found the cartoon funny.The results also showed a tendency for the effects either not to occur or to be minimal for younger children, those aged 5 and 6 years (Corder-Bolz, 1980; Grusec, 1973; Mattern & Lindholm, 2001). Grusec’s finding that the younger children imitated both the aggressive actions and the experimenter’s critical comments suggests that these children may have been absorbing what they were seeing and hearing in a rote fashion without comprehending the implications or relating the comments to what they were seeing. Research suggests that 5-year-olds are less likely than older children to recognize inconsistencies between the verbal and visual aspects of a presentation (Hoffner, Cantor, & Thorson, 1989) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007). Therefore, undoing the effect of a compelling visual display by verbal means may be more difficult for children in this age group.

Grusec (1973) conducted a study to determine whether slightly older children would be affected by an experimenter’s evaluations of witnessed violence even when their play behaviour was measured in the subsequent absence of the evaluator. She had 5- and 10-year-olds watch a film of a female adult engaging in a series of distinctive aggressive actions involving toys, while they heard a female experimenter make positive, neutral, or negative evaluations of the behaviour. Each child was then left alone to play with similar toys. Despite the absence of the woman who made the comments, the older children’s imitation was affected by her comments: Less imitation of her behaviours occurred in the negative-comment condition than in the neutral and positive-comment conditions. In contrast, and consistent with Hicks’s (1968) findings that the commenter needed to be present during the play period for the effects to occur, the younger children’s level of imitation was unaffected by the woman’s comments. However, the lack of effect was not due to the younger children’s failure to pay attention to the comments. After the play period, when the children watched the film a second time in a different experimenter’s presence, many of the younger children repeated the first experimenter’s negative remarks. These younger children imitated both the aggressive behaviour in the film and the negative comments the previous experimenter made, without demonstrating an effect of her comments on their own behaviour—and apparently without noticing the inconsistency.

In a small-scale study (24 participants), Mattern and Lindholm (2001) examined the effects of a parent’s critical comments about TV violence. Five- and 6- year-old participants viewed a segment of the action–adventure television program The Incredible Hulk with their mothers. At random, the mothers had been assigned to a treatment group or a control group. Those in the treatment group heard a description of the upcoming clip and were given anti-aggressive comments that they might make while watching the show. After viewing the clip, children participated in a game in which they could purportedly help or hurt a child who was said to be playing the game in another room. The children’s play behaviour with aggressive and non aggressive toys was also observed.

Coyne and Archer (2004) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007) found that indirect aggression was extremely common on TV programs that are popular among children’s and teenagers, being shown at even higher rates than physical violence. Consistent with real-life studies, they also found that females were more likely to be portrayed as indirectly aggressive, whereas males were more likely to be physically aggressive. Indirectly aggressive acts were also shown to be justified and rewarded and often portrayed by attractive characters, all characteristics that have been shown to increase subsequent imitation by viewers (e.g., Donnerstein, Slaby, & Eron, 1994) (in Rosly Kayar, 2007). In a much smaller scale study, Feshbach (2005) also found that females on TV were more likely to be portrayed as indirectly aggressive. According to the GAM, the high amount and portrayal of female indirect aggression on TV might particularly have an influence on subsequent female aggression as young girls may use this behaviour as a way of harming their peers. Coyne and Archer (2005) set out to determine whether viewing acts of indirect aggression on TV predicted the occurrence of this aggression in real life. Their results supported this view, with indirectly aggressive girls (but not boys) viewing more indirect aggression on TV than nonaggression girls. Coyne and Archer (2005) suggest two possibilities, namely, that indirectly aggressive individuals learn how to aggress by viewing such behaviour on TV or that these individuals seek out such behaviour to confirm their own use of it.

Viewing acts of violence in the media may increase the risk of short-term and long-term negative effects on viewers, particularly in children. Rodman (2009) in summarizing past research, short-term effect is members might model acts of violence they see in the media, especially if they expect to be rewarded for it. In long term, they might experience desensitization, a process which viewers of media violence develop callousness or emotional neutrality in the face of a real-life act of violence. Reports found that most television programming contained at least some harmful violence that helped children learn how to behave violently, that desensitized them to the harmful consequences of violence, and that made them more fearful of being attacked.


So, based on those theories, I will stress again my stand on these issues which is I totally agreed the media violence will influence the children aggressive behavior. An event or experience that is possible averse through the media will raise the childen’s emotions and in turn trigger behavior as dependence, withdrawal, aggressive and use of drugs or alcohol. So by watching the media, aggressive children’s it would be easy to learn and see the variety of experiences whether the model positive or negative. Consequently children will use aggressive all models involved behavior that will be stored in the memory system students and applied in life.


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