New Gentile study on media violence and kids could have applications on school bullying
July 13, 2012
AMES, Iowa -- The April suicide of 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. -- a South O'Brien High School (Paulina, Iowa) student who was reportedly teased and bullied by classmates -- had Iowa lawmakers questioning the effectiveness of the state's five-year-old anti-bullying law. School officials can't always identify the bullies until it's too late.
But a new study led by Douglas Gentile, an Iowa State University associate professor of psychology, may provide schools with a new tool to help them profile students who are more likely to commit aggressive acts against other students. Published in the July issue of the Psychology of Popular Media Culture -- a journal by the American Psychological Association -- the study identifies media violence exposure as one of six risk factors for predicting later aggression in 430 children (ages 7-11, grades 3-5) from five Minnesota schools. In addition to media violence exposure, the remaining risk factors are bias toward hostility, low parental involvement, gender, physical victimization and prior physical fights.
Knowing students' risks for aggression can help school officials to determine which students might be more likely to get in fights -- or possibly bully other students -- later in the school year.
"As you gain risk factors, the risk of aggression goes up disproportionally," said Gentile, who runs the Media Research Lab at Iowa State. "Having one or two risk factors is no big deal. Kids are resilient -- they can handle it. You get to three and there's a big jump. When you get out past four risk factors, risk is increasing at a much higher rate than you would expect.
"If we are concerned about bullying in schools, then this approach has real world implications for helping to target the kids who are at higher risk for bullying behavior so we could use our limited resources more effectively to reduce bullying in schools," he continued. "We could profile kids by measuring their risk factors. In fact, I can get over 80 percent accuracy knowing only three things -- are they a boy, have they gotten in a fight within the past year, and do they consume a lot of media violence? When you get out to having six risk factors, then we can predict with 94 percent accuracy which kids will get into fights in the coming year. We just can't predict which day."
Effects of media violence may be previously underestimated
Gentile and co-author Brad Bushman, a former Iowa State psychology professor who now is on The Ohio State University faculty, conclude that when considered with other risk factors, the effects of media violence exposure may actually be underestimated by previous scientific measures. They contend the study is one of the first to put several of the pieces together to show how the risk factors work together to predict future aggression.
"This new statistical approach [relative weight analysis] actually allows us to get probably the most accurate assessment of how much each variable [risk factor] contributes to likely aggression, in combination with the others," Gentile said. "It becomes clear that media violence is very similar to other known risk factors."
For the study, children and their teachers were surveyed twice in a school year -- most being six months apart. Physical aggression was measured using self-reports, peer-nominations and teacher reports of actual violence.
In the self-reports, participants listed their three favorite TV shows, video games and movies. For each, participants rated how frequently they watched or played it, and how violent it was. An overall violence exposure score was computed for each participant by multiplying the violence rating by the frequency of viewing/playing, and then averaging across the nine responses. That approach has been used successfully in other studies that study children and media violence.
Media violence consumption easiest for parents to control
Gentile emphasizes that high exposure to media violence is just one risk factor for increased aggression, neither deserving special concern nor dismissal among other risk factors. What makes it different from the others is that it's the one that is most easy for parents to control.
"Most of the risk factors for aggression are really hard to change. You can't easily change whether your child has previously been in a fight or bullied," Gentile said. "That's what makes this [media violence] different is that it's actually fairly easy to control compared to most of the other risk factors. But how it acts as a risk factor is exactly the same as all others. It's not the biggest, it's not the smallest, it's actually right there in the middle of the pack."
While the researchers found that the effect of media violence exposure on a child's later aggression may be underestimated, Gentile points out that it's the combination of risk factors that ultimately proves to be the most dangerous when predicting future aggression in kids.
Iowa State University
Related Media Violence Current Events and Media Violence News ArticlesNo link found between movie, video game violence and societal violence
Since the 1920s, scholars and politicians have blamed violence in movies and other media as a contributing factor to rising violence in society.No silver bullet: ISU study identifies risk factors of youth charged with murder
News of a school shooting or a homicide involving a teenage suspect always leads to the question of why?'Broad Consensus' that Violent Media Increase Child Aggression
Majorities of media researchers, parents and pediatricians agree that exposure to violent media can increase aggression in children, according to a new national study.Exposure to TV violence related to irregular attention and brain structure
Young adult men who watched more violence on television showed indications of less mature brain development and poorer executive functioning, according to the results of an Indiana University School of Medicine study published online in the journal Brain and Cognition.The damaging effect of media violence on young children
Research has demonstrated a link between screen violence and real-world aggression, both in traditional media like violent movies and in newer media including first-person shooter games. Genetics linked to children viewing high amounts of violent media
The lifelong debate of nature versus nurture continues-this time in what your children watch. A recent paper published in the Journal of Communication found that a specific variation of the serotonin-transporter gene was linked to children who engaged in increased viewing of violent TV and playing of violent video games.Violent video games alter brain function in young men
Sustained changes in the region of the brain associated with cognitive function and emotional control were found in young adult men after one week of playing violent video games, according to study results presented by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.Violent Video Games Reduce Brain Response to Violence and Increase Aggressive Behavior, University of Missouri Study Finds
Scientists have known for years that playing violent video games causes players to become more aggressive.New study finds that violence doesn't add to children's enjoyment of TV shows, movies
Despite growing concern about the effects of media violence on children, violent television shows and movies continue to be produced and marketed to them. An Indiana University research study concludes that violence doesn't add anything to their enjoyment of such programs and their characters.Does video game violence harm teens? New study weighs the evidence
How much scientific evidence is there for and against the assertion that exposure to video game violence can harm teens?
More Media Violence Current Events and Media Violence News Articles
Media Violence and Children: A Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals (Advances in Applied Developmental Psychology)|
by Douglas A. Gentile (Author)
There are many opinions about media violence and children, but not all are supported by science. In this book, the top experts gather the latest results from 50 years of scientific study as the basis for a comprehensive, in-depth examination of the complex issues surrounding the effects of media violence of different types. Each chapter focuses on a particular issue of concern, including "hot" topics such as brain development, cyber-bullying, video games, and verbal aggression. Articles take into account factors such as economics, differences based on the ages of children, and differences between types of media violence.This book provides the information parents and those who work with families need to make the best choices. It includes chapters specifically relevant to the types of...
Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence: A Critical Look at the Research|
by Steven J. Kirsh (Author)
This revised text provides updates that reflect new findings in the field of media violence research during childhood and adolescence. Throughout the book, special attention is paid to evaluating the role of developmental processes and to stressing the importance of methodology in understanding media violence research. Findings have been divided into two main areas: aggressive behavior and aggression-related constructs (e.g., emotions, cognitions, arousal) to help clarify media violence-related effects on youth.
Violence in the Media: A deep look into how violence is portrayed to our society through the media and the influence it has on society|
This book goes into amazing detail in explaining how the media depicts violence. It evaluates the news, movies, television shows, video games, and music. Through all these mediums, violence can by shown and used for one's benefit. Violence continues to be prevalent in our society, no matter what type of control measures regulatory bodies enforce on society. Can violence in our society be directly blamed on the media? Dive deep into this best seller to find out! I hold a Bachelor's Degree of Business Administration and an Associates Degree of Management Technology. This qualifies as a scholarly article.
On Media Violence|
by W. James Potter (Author)
This definitive examination of a contemporary social issue asks questions such as: How much media violence is there? What are the meanings conveyed in the way violence is portrayed? What effect does it have on viewers? Divided into four parts, the book reviews research on media violence; re-examines existing theories of media violence; considers methodological tools used to assess media, and introduces the concept of Lineation Theory, a perspective and new theoretical approach explaining media violence.
The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine (City Lights Open Media)|
by Henry A. Giroux (Author)
"Giroux refuses to give in or give up. The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a clarion call to imagine a different America--just, fair, and caring--and then to struggle for it."--Bill Moyers
"Henry Giroux has accomplished an exciting, brilliant intellectual dissection of America's somnambulent voyage into anti-democratic political depravity. His analysis of the plight of America's youth is particularly heartbreaking. If we have a shred of moral fibre left in our beings, Henry Giroux sounds the trumpet to awaken it to action to restore to the nation a civic soul."--Dennis J. Kucinich, former US Congressman and Presidential candidate
"Giroux lays out a blistering critique of an America governed by the tenets of a market economy. . . . He cites French philosopher Georges...
by W. James Potter (Author)
In this media-saturated world, we must learn how to navigate through the overwhelming flood of information so that we can avoid the risks and maximize its potential to help us. Media Literacy, Seventh Edition shows you how. Drawing from thousands of media literature studies, author W. James Potter explores the key components to understanding the fascinating world of mass media. In this thoroughly updated and revised edition, Potter presents numerous examples and facts to help you understand how the media operate, how they attract your attention, and how they influence you. Each chapter concludes with a set of exercises to help you apply the chapter material to everyday life and engage in a step-by-step process to increase your level of media literacy.
'White Girl Bleed A Lot': The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It|
by Colin Flaherty (Author)
Ferguson might be the worst, but it is not the first. Ferguson is just the latest of hundreds of examples of black mob violence around the country.
White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it was written for the deniers: Reporters and public officials and others who deny black mob violence has reached epidemic levels.
That is why so many readers get another copy: They send it to someone who needs to read it.
Denial is not an option any more. Many of these cases are now on YouTube.
And for the first time, readers will be able to scan QR codes to follow the black mob violence on video as they read about it in the book.
For the first time, readers will be able to see the huge difference between what big city newspapers say is...
Encyclopedia of Media Violence: One-Volume Set|
by Matthew S. Eastin (Editor)
Via 134 signed entries, this encyclopedia provides students, researchers, and the general public with an accessible, comprehensive, and well-balanced eviddence-based examination of theory, research and debates related to media violence. Entries conclude with Cross-References and Suggestions for Further Readings to guide users to related entries and resources for further research, and a thematic Reader’s Guide in the front matter groups related entries by topic to make it easier for users to locate related entries of interest.
Violence in the Media (Current Controversies)|
by Dedria Bryfonski (Editor)
The Current Controversies series examines today's most important social and political issues; each volume presents a diverse selection of primary and secondary sources representing all sides of the debate in question.; Title explores issues related to Violence in the Media, including
--violence in music and videos
--exposure to violence in television and movies
--violent video games
--how society should respond to violence in the media; Each anthology is composed of a wide spectrum of sources written by many of the foremost authorities in their respective fields. This unique approach provides students with a concise view of divergent opinions on each topic. Extensive book and periodical
Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle (City Lights Open Media)|
by Brad Evans (Author), Henry A. Giroux (Author)
Drawing inspiration from Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle and a wide range of other free thinkers and intellectuals, Brad Evans and Henry A. Giroux analyze how today's dominant economic system—neoliberalism—uses consumerism, privatization, and mass media to neutralize and control the public's participation in its own affairs. The consequence, they argue, is a "mode of existence that encourages us all to become voyeurs of suffering, while denying us the ability of connecting subjugation and willful oppression to wider systemic forces."
Brimming with ideas and insights, Disposable Futures offers a sweeping, big-picture critique of consumption-driven society and how state and corporate power use and abuse violence to redefine citizenship, national security, and economics in...