Talking to kids about television violence

When I was a kid, I remember watching Karate Kid. I also remember that after Daniel won the Tri-County karate tournament that my brother and I would go outside and pretend to karate chop each other.  A large amount of research shows that violence on television is related to subsequent aggression among children. Amy Nathanson from The Ohio State University conducted research showing that the way parents talk to young children about TV violence is important.  For example, she found that simply providing facts about TV violence (saying things such as “those are just actors” and “that is not real blood”) is not nearly effective (and may even make children’s aggression worse!) than when the parent offers an opinion about the violent content (such as “I don’t think people should act that way” or “That’s not a very good way to solve a problem”).

Here is the full article citation:  Nathanson, A.I. (2004). Factual and evaluative approaches to modifying children’s responses to violent television. Journal of Communication, 54 (2), 321-336.

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Filed under Parent involvement, TV

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