Television Violence and Children

By Cesarone, Bernard | Childhood Education, Fall 1998 | Go to article overview

Television Violence and Children

Cesarone, Bernard, Childhood Education

Recent ERIC documents and journal articles that discuss topics related to television violence and children are summarized in this column. For details about ERIC and ordering ERIC documents, please see the information following these abstracts.

ERIC Documents

PS026610, PS026611, PS026612

NATIONAL TELEVISION VIOLENCE STUDY. Volumes 1, 2, and 3. Margaret Seawell, Ed. 1997. 568 pp., 424 pp., & 368 pp., respectively. (Not available from EDRS; write Sage Publications, Inc., 2455 Teller Road, Newbury Park, CA 91320; 805-4990721; E-mail: The National Television Violence Study (NTVS), begun in 1994, was a three-year effort to assess violence on television. The project enlisted the help of media scholars, at four university sites, who conducted a content analysis of violence in television shows and music videos, analyzed the role of television's self-imposed violence ratings and advisories, and studied the effectiveness of anti-violence public service announcements. Each volume presents the research findings from one year of the project. The results show that the portrayal of violence on television likely contributes to the learning of aggression, across all genres and channels (i.e., network, cable, public). Furthermore, despite all the public attention given to the issue, television's portrayal of violence did not change during the three years of the study.


TELEVISION VIOLENCE: Content, Context, and Consequences. ERIC Digest. Amy Aidman. 1997. 2 pp. (Available from ERIC/EECE and EDRS; also available at: This digest reports recent findings on television violence, including the effect of certain plot elements in portrayals of violence, various high-risk factors in televised violence, and predicted effects of viewing violent television shows in conjunction with specific plot elements. The digest discusses a ratings system that has been developed by the television industry, in collaboration with child advocacy organizations, to help parents determine the appropriateness of television programs. The digest also offers suggestions that may help parents reduce the negative effects of viewing television in general, and violent television in particular.


THE EFFECTS OF TELEVISION VIOLENCE AND EARLY HARSH DISCIPLINE ON CHILDREN'S SOCIAL COGNITIONS AND PEER-DIRECTED AGGRESSION. Stacy L. Frazier, John E. Bates, Kenneth A. Dodge, & Gregory S. Pettit. 1997. 11 pp. This 7-year longitudinal study of 535 children and their families examined the additive and interactive effects of both television viewing and harsh, physical discipline on children's social information processing and subsequent aggression; it also examined the effects on children's social cognitions and aggression of heavy viewing and parental permission to view violent content. Results indicated that permission to view violent content and the frequency of viewing were modestly positively correlated with child aggression at school. Results suggest that physically disciplined children who watch violent television may be at greater risk for aggression at school than those who watch less violent television, that physically disciplined children are at risk for aggression at school regardless of how much television they watch, and that children who watch a lot of television are at greater risk for aggression if they have deficient social information processing patterns.


VIEWING VIOLENCE: How Media Violence Affects Your Child's and Adolescent's Development. Madeline Levine. 1996. 256 pp. (Not available from EDRS; contact Doubleday and Company, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036-4094.) This book reviews research on the effects of television and movie violence on children and adolescents, offering parents suggestions for dealing with the problems it creates. The book is divided into four parts, the first of which traces the development of television in the United States and examines more than 40 years of research on the subject of media violence and children.

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