The influence of the Media on Children Counseling 448 Interventions and Advocacy for Children The Media Is a Significant Environmental Influence Time spent watching TV by age/per week: Children aged 2-5 average 25 hours Children aged 6-11 average 20-28 hours Children aged 12-17 average 23 hours “By adulthood (18 yrs}most Americans have spent more time in front of the television set than in school, and far more than they have spent talking with their teachers, their friends and their parents. Time Spent Watching Television Takes away from important activities such as; Reading School work Playing Family Interaction Social Development Knowing the difference between fantasy and reality Children who watch Television Are more likely to: Have lower grades in school Read fewer books Exercise less: High Couch Potato Index Be overweight Use television as an escape from reality Be less imaginative See violence as an appropriate way to solve interpersonal problems Respect and Antisocial Respect for authority, respect for self, and respect for others is negatively affected by television: The average child will watch 8,000 murders on TV before finishing elementary school By age 18, the average American has seen 200,000 acts of violence on TV, including 40,000 murders Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior Comparisons of Six Major Arousal Hypothesis Social Learning Theory Disinhibition Hypothesis Aggression Reduction Cognitive Processing Theory Attitude Change Theory Arousal Hypothesis Proponent Tannebaum: Exposure to television violence increases aggression because violence increases excitation or arouses” viewers Both physiological arousal and level of behavior will vary depending on whether a film sequence ends on an exciting note or concludes with blander depictions Social Learning Theory Proponent: Bandura ‘ the most influential sources of research on television and aggression Ways of behaving are learned by observing others and a major means of acquiring unfamiliar behavior Children can acquire aggressive ways of behaving from television and will exhibit these aggressive responses m play behavior Disinhibition Hypothesis Proponent: Berkowitz Certain circumstances will result in increased interpersonal aggression because it weakens inhibitions against such behavior; Circumstances: where violence is rewarded; where similar situations are in the current environment; where the environment has target Aggression Reduction Proponent Feshbach: Under certain conditions exposure to television violence will reduce subsequent aggression When television violence creates aggression anxiety which leads to the inhibition of aggressive impulses Cognitive Processing Cognitive Processing Psychology Certain aggressive behaviors may be learned and stored in the brain for future reference Placement of artificial images into our ‘mind’s eye by inducing alpha waves (‘1ypnotizing effect) with quick camera switches, rapid image movement, and computer generated morphing and other technical events. Do large amounts of television viewing correlate with attention deficit disorder? Attitude Change Theory The more violent television the child watches, the more the child tends to have favorable attitudes toward aggressive behaviors: become “immune” to the honor 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 Violence on Screens, Music, and What we teach children about how to treat people and handle conflict @ 125,000 youth under 1. were arrested for violent crimes in 1994 @ 805,000 youth under 18 were arrested for violent crimes in 1996 Is this linked to being more impulsive, more aggressive, and an inability to concentrate? Being Hooked on the Media Resembles the dependency symptoms of substance abuse: Using TV as a sedative Indiscriminate viewing Feeling loss of control while viewing Feeling angry with oneself for watching too much Inability to stop watching, and Feeling miserable when kept from watching Viewing large amounts of TV violence does may not cause a child to act more violently,. but it can promote a view that violence is common place creating a heightened fear of being assaulted
Perpetrators of violent acts go unpunished 73 percent of the time About 25 percent of violent acts involve handguns Only 4 percent show nonviolent alternatives to solve programs The negative consequences of violence are not portrayed What Children Learn About Conflict Resolution: TV vs Life What children learn from TV To see the problem causing the conflict is the other person’s fault To use only one solution – the violent one which often involves using weapons What “need” to learn from real life To see the problem as a shared one and part: of an ongoing relationship To look for many possible solutions and the words to try to explore than What Children About Conflict Resolution: TV vs.
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Life What children learn from TV To have one winner and everyone else losing To see violence as happening w/o consequences To have the bad guys come back for more of the same next time Need to learn from real life To choose a solution to try because everyone wins To try agreed-on solution and experience consequences To evaluate the solution and make it work better Factors Which Increase Risk of Violent Behavior in Children A complex interaction or combination of factors leads to an increased risk of violent behavior: Previous aggressive or violent behavior Being the victim of violence Exposure to violence in home/community Genetic factors Exposure to violence in the media Use of drugs and/or alcohol Combination of stressful family socioeconomic factors Warning Signs for Violent Behavior in Children Children who have several risk factors and the show the following behaviors should e carefully evaluated: Intense anger Frequent loss of temper or blow-ups Extreme irritability Extreme impulsiveness Becoming easily frustrated
Children’s Perceptions of Race and Class in the Media Today’s children will be the first generation to come of age in an America where racial minorities are the numeric majority. Our future will depend upon children’s ability to develop positive racial identities and an appreciation of diversity. Children will need to expand their conception of race arid race relations in ways their parent never knew, Children’s Perception of Race and Class in the Media Young people think It1s important for children to see people of their own race on television Children of color are most likely to think so. White and African-America can children say they see people of their race on television while Latino and Asian children are much less likely to see their race represented.
Across all races, children are more likely to associate positive characteristics with White characters and negative characteristics with minority characters: having lots of money being well-educated being a leader doing well in school being intelligent – was more associated with White characters on TV breaking the law having a hard time financially being lazy acting goofy – was more often associated with the Minority characters on television Television Can No Longer he Considered a Casual Part of Daily Life In a single day you catch a glimpse of a denuded rain forest, a beached whale, an oil-covered bird, a blackened middle-eastern sky, a glowing waste dump, a starving child, within seconds your mind is emblazoned with rapid-fire sequences of a new car high on a desert plateau, animated tooth paste and toilet-bowl cleaner3 affluent looking yuppies playing volleyball on a beach drinking bottled water, and a public service announcement on STDs.
What Parents Can Do…. Help children see through violence by WORK OUT LIMITS on the amount of TV viewing SELECT quality, nonviolent programs WATCH TV together TALK ab6ut misleading lessons and harmful effects of violence in the media DISCUSS better ways to solve conflicts CHOOSE toys that promote creativity and are not linked to violent shows What Parents Can Do.. Be proactive about family communication. Consciously schedule talking and listening time with your child Consciously schedule taking and listening time with your child. Provide opportunities so a child can share joys, fears, anger, or other feelings that puzzle them or confuse them