Violence In The Media Is Responsible For An Increase In Violence Among Young People

Violence in the media is responsible for an increase in violence among young people

Children at the age of 8 to 18 years spend an average of six hours each day on an entertainment media. It could be TV, movies, recorded music, radio, and the internet, commercial or self-recorded video. Even young children also spend significant time watching screen media at an average time of two hours each day.   A young person who watches violent activities for all these hours are likely to be drawn in. Violence in media is responsible for an increase in violence among young people.

A student at Virginia Tech shot dead 32 students, wounded 17 more and killed himself.    There was massive coverage on the media.  Surprisingly there has been ore mass killing at schools and public places up to now. Most of the attackers are young people.  The media coverage is not deterring the attacks as anybody would have thought although some of the attackers might be psychotic. 

The careful planning shows watching previous shootings were more of inspiration than deterrent. They derive joy from the media attention in such incidents. It is proven that observational learning influences the short and long term.  Young people learn much from observing their peers, family, community and mass media. Extensive viewing of media such as television can cause aggressiveness in children if the content is aggressive. Even a single show can make someone aggressive.  Repeated watching of violence that is frequent and unpunished can influence the young people to act violently quickly or later. 

 Violence in media can trigger an increase in violence among the young, but it is just one of the risk factors.  Extremely violent behavior does not occur because of just one risk factor. Frustration, trauma, psychosis and mood disorders are some of the underlying problems that combine with media content to make someone violent. Violence in media might not be the only cause of aggressive behavior in young people but contributes significantly. Parents should monitor the media that their teenagers watch to prevent harmful effects. Watching violent media can also cause stereotyping of particular people and make the young people feel like it is a justification to mistreat them.

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