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Unformatted text preview: hen they were in their early 20s (Huesmann et al., 2003). Results from this 15-year
follow-up suggest a delayed effect of media violence on serious physical aggression. The
researchers found significant correlations between television violence viewing during childhood
and a composite measure of aggression (physical, verbal, and indirect) during young adulthood, for
both men (r = .21, n = 153, p < .01) and women (r = .19, n = 176, p < .01). When the outcome
examined was restricted to physical aggression or violence (e.g., punch, beat, choke, threaten or Media Violence 27 attack with a knife or gun), the correlations were still significant (rs = .17 and .15 respectively).
Furthermore, when the people who had watched violent programs frequently in childhood were
compared with their counterparts who viewed these programs much less often, it was found that the
former, as adults, committed significantly more acts of physical aggression, such as having
"pushed, grabbed, or shoved their spouses" (p. 210; 42% vs. 22% in the case of males) or "shoving,
punching, beating or choking" (p. 210) someone who had made them angry (17% vs. 4% for
females). Finally, analyses showed that for both men and women, frequent exposure to TV violence
during childhood resulted in high levels of aggressive behavior later, whereas high aggressiveness
during childhood did not lead to frequent viewing of television violence later.
These effects of frequent childhood exposure to TV violence on later aggression remained
significant even when the researchers controlled statistically for parents' education and children's
achievement. Although analyses of the data from the other countries are not yet completed,
preliminary results indicate that childhood exposure to media violence also predicts adult
aggression in males and females in Finland and in males in Israel, but not in Poland, where the
social transition of the 1980s seems to have changed the relations (Huesmann & Moise-Titus, 1999;
A final longitudinal study worth discussing examined effects of TV habits in adolescence and
early adulthood on later violent behavior (J.G. Johnson, Cohen, Smailes, Kasen, & Brook, 2002).
Total amount of television watching (rather than amount of violent TV viewing more specifically)
was assessed at ages 14 and 22. Although this is not the ideal measure of violent TV exposure, the
high proportion of television programs that contain violence (see the section on Violent Content of
Media) suggests that, on average, those people who watch a lot of television usually are also getting
the most exposure to violent TV. Moreover, in analyzing total time watching TV rather than the
more specific time watching violent TV, the study probably underestimated the actual effect of
exposure to violent television on later aggressive behavior (Anderson & Bushman, 2002a). Anderson, Berkowitz, Donnerstein, Huesmann, Johnson, Linz, Malamuth, & Wartella 28 The most relevant results of this study have to do with effects on “assault or physical fights
resulting in injury” (pp. 2469-2470), which was assessed at age 16 or 22 in one analysis, and at age
30 in another analysis.. TV exposure at age 14 significantly predicted assault and fighting behavior
at 16 or 22 years of age, even after controlling statistically for family income, parental education,
verbal intelligence, childhood neglect, neighborhood characteristics, peer aggression, and school
violence. The effect size across all participants was in the small range (r = .17). In addition, TV
exposure at age 22 significantly predicted assault and fighting behavior at age 30; the size of this
effect was in the medium range (r = .35). There were many additional findings of interest involving
differences in effect size for males versus females at different time periods and for different
measures of aggression. But the most important implication of this study is that television watching
(and presumably exposure to violent TV) may have important adverse effects on much older
populations than was previously believed.
Longitudinal Survey Studies: Meta-Analysis and Summary
The only meta-analysis to look at longitudinal studies of media violence separately was
conducted by Anderson and Bushman (2002c). Although this analysis pooled studies of all types of
media violence, the great majority were investigations of violent TV. Anderson and Bushman
found a statistically significant average effect size of .17 across 42 independent tests involving
almost 5,000 participants. Given these meta-analytic results and the specific outcomes of the key
longitudinal studies we have already discussed, it seems safe to draw a conclusion from this
research: High levels of exposure to violent TV programs in childhood can promote aggression in
later childhood, adolescence, and even young adulthood. The effect sizes are small to medium,
depending on the time lag. There also is some evidence that more aggressive children tend to watch
more violence than thei...
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2013 for the course ELECTRICAL 205 taught by Professor Tom during the Spring '13 term at American University in Cairo.
- Spring '13
- The Land