Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

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 Articles


No 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 (Opposing Viewpoints)

Media Violence (Opposing Viewpoints)
by Noah Berlatsky (Author)


Each title in the highly acclaimed Opposing Viewpoints series explores a specific issue by placing expert opinions in a unique pro/con format; the viewpoints are selected from a wide range of highly respected and often hard-to-find publications.; This title explores many aspects of media violence, including the seriousness of the media violence problem, the regulation of media violence, the effect of violence in the news, and the relationship between sex and violence in the media.; "Each volume in the Opposing Viewpoints Series could serve as a model…not only providing access to a wide diversity of opinions, but also stimulating readers to do further research for group discussion and individual interest. Both shrill and moderate, th

Media, Culture and Human Violence: From Savage Lovers to Violent Complexity

Media, Culture and Human Violence: From Savage Lovers to Violent Complexity
by Jeff Lewis Professor of Media and Communication at RMIT University Australia (Author)


Humans of the advanced world are the most violent beings of all times. This violence is evident in the conditions of perpetual warfare and the accumulation of the most powerful and destructive arsenal ever known to humankind. It is also evident in the devastating impact of advanced world economy and cultural practices which have led to ecological devastation and the current era of mass species extinction. —one of only six mass extinction events in planetary history and the only one caused by the actions of a single species, humans. This violence is manifest in our interpersonal relationships, and the ways in which we organize ourselves through hierarchical systems that ensure the wealth and privilege of some, against the penury and misery of others.

In this new and highly...

Women, Violence, and the Media: Readings in Feminist Criminology (Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law)

Women, Violence, and the Media: Readings in Feminist Criminology (Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law)
by Drew Humphries (Editor)


Through the lens of feminist criminology, this volume examines the complex interrelationship of women, violence, and media presentations. The book is divided into three sections. The first, “Gendering Constructions,” lays the groundwork for the volume by examining the print media’s presentation of gendered violence, female killers on Law and Order, African American women in Hollywood films, and women in media, crime, and violence textbooks. The second section, “Debating the Issues,” explores aspects of femicide, including mass murder incidents, domestic violence in Bangladesh, and wartime sexual violence in reality and on television. The final section “Changing the Image,” focuses on efforts to replace masculine assumptions with constructive approaches to imagining women....

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence
by Dave Grossman (Author), Gloria Degaetano (Author)


Completely revised and updated, a much-needed call to action for every parent, teacher, and citizen to help our children and stop the wave of killing and violence gripping America's youth

Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine. Thereis no bigger or more important issue in America than youth violence. Kids, some as young as ten years old, take up arms with the intention to murder. Why is this happening? Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano believe the root cause is the steady diet of violent entertainment kids see on TV, in movies, and in the video games they play—witnessing hundreds of violent images a day. Offering incontrovertible evidence based on recent scientific studies and research, they posit that this media is not just conditioning children to be violent and...

The Myth of Media Violence: A Critical Introduction

The Myth of Media Violence: A Critical Introduction
by David Trend (Author)


The Myth of Media Violence: A Critical Introduction assesses the current and historical debates over violence in film, television, and video games; extends the conversation beyond simple condemnation or support; and addresses a diverse range of issues and influences.

Looks at the chronology of contemporary media violence, and explores reservations over communications medias throughout history.
Examines the forces behind the encouraged anxieties about media violence.
Uses examples drawn from a range of media, including disaster and horror movies, science fiction, film tie-in toys, crime shows, MTV, news, sports, and children’s television programming, books and video games.
Includes a closing chapter about why media violence exists as it does in our...

Mimesis, Movies, and Media: Violence, Desire, and the Sacred, Volume 3

Mimesis, Movies, and Media: Violence, Desire, and the Sacred, Volume 3
by Scott Cowdell (Editor), Scott Cowdell (Editor), Chris Fleming (Editor), Chris Fleming (Editor), Joel Hodge (Editor), Joel Hodge (Editor)


Building on the growing recognition and critical acclaim of volumes 1 and 2 of Violence, Desire, and the Sacred, this third volume in the series showcases the most groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research in mimetic theory, with a focus on well-known films, television series, and other media. Mimesis, Movies, and Media reaches beyond the traditional boundaries of continental theory to demonstrate how scholars apply and develop René Girard's insights in light of contemporary media. It brings together major Australian and international scholars working at the intersection of popular culture and philosophy.

Media Violence and its Effect on Aggression: Assessing the Scientific Evidence

Media Violence and its Effect on Aggression: Assessing the Scientific Evidence
by Jonathan L. Freedman (Author)


The scientific evidence does not support the notion that TV and film violence cause aggression in children or in anyone else. So argues Jonathan Freedman, based on his findings that far fewer than half of the scientific studies have found a causal connection between exposure to media violence and aggression or crime. In fact, Freedman believes that, taken to a more controversial extreme, the research could be interpreted as showing that there is no causal effect of media violence at all.Media Violence and its Effect on Aggression offers a provocative challenge to the accepted norms in media studies and psychology. Freedman begins with a comprehensive review of all the research on the effect of violent movies and television on aggression and crime. Having shown the lack of scientific...

Media Violence and Children: A Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals, 2nd Edition (Advances in Applied Developmental Psychology)

Media Violence and Children: A Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals, 2nd Edition (Advances in Applied Developmental Psychology)
by Douglas A. Gentile (Author)


Stripping away the hype, this book describes how, when, and why media violence can influence children of different ages, giving parents and teachers the power to maximize the media's benefits and minimize its harm.
• Includes the newest research on topics of particular concern today, including cyber-bullying, video games, song lyrics, and brain development• Covers all major media, including television, movies, music, video games, and the Internet• Describes the psychological processes through which media violence influences attitudes, emotions, and behaviors• Provides the context necessary to understand why media violence does not affect everyone the same way• Discusses how media violence intersects with public policy, identifies the problems with the existing rating...

Media Literacy

Media Literacy
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

'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...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com