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The Effects of TV to Children's Aggressive Behavior

The Liebert and Brown study exposed one group of children to a violent program and another group to a sports program, and then had the children play together. The study "found that children who watched the violent TV segment hurt other children more in their 'game' and played more aggressively than did children who watched the sports segment" (Lippa, 1990, 31, 33).

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

reports that children in the United States watch from 3-4 hours of television a day, and concludes that "Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior." Used well and wisely, television could obviously be a positive influence on a child (Lippa, 1990, 490-491). However, violence is a dominant factor even in programming for children. The AACAP reports that

Hundreds of studies of the effects of TV 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, victims and/or victimizers ("Children," 2000).

The same study shows that "watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness." In addition, the more realistic the violence, the greater the frequency, and the degree to which it goes unpunished, are all factors increasing the likelihood that the child viewer will "imitate what they see" ("Children," 2000).

The National Television Violence Study of the University of Texas at Austin College of Communication "finds TV violence continues to pose a serious risk of harm to children." Particularly alarming is the fact that there is a "rise in the level of visual violence in the late afternoon" (National, 1998, 2), a time when child viewing is high.

The UCLA Television Violence Report, 1997, provides a wealth of evidence for increased TV violence and its negative effect on c...

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