,hl=en,siteUrl='http://0ldfox.blogspot.com/',authuser=0,security_token="v_SeT2Tv8vVdKRCcG9CCW-ZdIfQ:1429878696275"/> Old Fox KM Journal : Television and Violence

Monday, April 25, 2016

Television and Violence


JAMA, June 10, 1992--Vol 267, No. 22

Special Communication

Television and Violence
The Scale of the Problem and Where to Go From Here

Brandon S. Centerwall, MD, MPH

IN 1975, Rothenberg's Special Communication in JAMA, "Effect of Television Violence on Children and Youth," first alerted the medical community to the deforming effects the viewing of television violence has on normal child development, increasing levels of physical aggressiveness and violence.1 In response to physicians' concerns sparked by Rothenberg's communication, the 1976 American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates passed Resolution 38: "The House declares TV violence threatens the health and welfare of young Americans, commits itself to remedial actions with interested parties, and encourages opposition to TV programs containing violence and to their sponsors."2

Other professional organizations have since come to a similar conclusion, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association. In light of recent research findings, in 1990 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement: "Pediatricians should advise parents to limit their children's television viewing to 1 to 2 hours per day." Rothenberg's communication was largely based on the findings of the 1968 National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence5 and the 1972 Surgeon General's report, Television and Growing Up: The Impact of Televised Violence.6Those findings were updated and reinforced by the 1982 report of the National Institute of Mental Health, Television and Behavior: Ten Years of Scientific Progress and Implications for the Eighties, again documenting a broad consensus in the scientific literature that exposure to television violence increases children's physical aggressiveness.7 Each of these governmental inquiries necessarily left open the question of whether this increase in children's physical aggressiveness would later lead to increased rates of violence. Although there had been dozens of laboratory investigations and short-term field studies (3 months or less), few long-term field studies (2 years or more) had been completed and reported. Since the 1982 National Institute of Mental Health report, long-term field studies have come into their own, some 20 having now been published.8

In my commentary, I discuss television's effects within the context of normal child development; give an overview of natural exposure to television as a cause of aggression and violence; summarize my own research findings on television as a cause of violence; and suggest a course of action....
All Canadian and US studies of the effect of prolonged childhood exposure to television (2 years or more) demonstrate a positive relationship between earlier exposure to television and later physical aggressiveness, although not all studies reach statistical significance.8The critical period of exposure to television is preadolescent childhood. Later variations in exposure, in adolescence and adulthood, do not exert any additional effect.23,24 However, the aggression-enhancing effect of exposure to television is chronic, extending into later adolescence and adulthood.8,25 This implies that any interventions should be designed for children and their caregivers rather than for the general adult population....

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