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Negative Effects on Children From Violent TV & Movies

By Melissa Diem ; Updated April 18, 2017
Viloent TV and movies can have a negative effect on children.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, “American children watch an average of three to four hours of television daily. Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior.” The violence on young developing minds can have negative effects.

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Immune to Violence

Constant exposure to violent acts may leave children immune to the negativity of violence. With television experienced on a daily basis, acts of violence are seen daily. A report by the Department of Canadian Heritage concludes that seeing violent or horrific acts on television or in movies desensitizes children to fear and violence, and may also make them accepting of violence in real-life situations.

Causes Violent Behavior

As a child, social coping skills are still developing. Children do not always know how to respond to others during conflict. The violence in certain programing may leave a lasting impression on a child, causing a violent response when problem-solving. The child comes to view his favorite characters' shoving, pushing and hitting to get their way as acceptable behavior.

Relating to Violent Characters

While watching television and movies, children identify themselves with certain characters. Violent programing offers more opportunities to relate to violent characters. Male children often identify with male super heroes who use violence. The children go on to display these acts in role playing and imaginary play.

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About the Author

Melissa Diem has been a professional freelancer since 2007. Her work can be found on AllWomanStalk.com and mademan.com. Diem's expertise is in relationships, health and fitness, and sociology. She holds a Bachelor of Science in human services with a focus on human relationships from Upper Iowa University.

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