Programming

Media’s Effect on Children

Media’s Effect on Children In an article by Earles, Alexander, Johnson, Liverpool, and McGhee (2002) d "Media influences on children and adolescents: Violence and. sex" the researchers established a strong correlation between violence on television and aggressive behavior. The study was able to elicit aggressive behavior from children after showing them a video in which an adult is rewarded for hitting a doll. The authors pointed out that excessive scenes of violence on television can desensitize children into believing that it is acceptable because it is familiar. In addition to excessive scenes of violence on TV, television often portrays people of color negatively. The article further talked about that sexual content. The authors concluded that while there was a concern about sexual content, it was not as influential as violence. The writers concluded that physicians should play a role by gaining a greater awareness of the problem and integrating media exposure as part of the child’s developmental history.
A recent article titled "Propaganda and Collective Behavior" by Tesar and Doppen (2006) addressed the effect that media propaganda has on the behavior of adolescents. This study found that choices as basic as what to wear, what to eat, perspective of war, and what college to attend was affected by the media. The authors contend that this has lead to collective behavior and thinking by teenagers. The research found that students desired to follow social norms, but they were more likely to get their norms from the media in an attempt to conform to their group. Students were also affected by the media’s goal of selling products. Students were unaware that propaganda was present in their school area and community as well as in the media. This study suggested that teachers should encourage students to think critically and carefully analyze the media.
Levin and Carlsson-Paige (2003) studied the theory that young children of color generally have more media exposure and a higher risk of developmental problems. The study argued that low-income families are more exposed to television programs that contain violent scenes and spend more time watching television. By analyzing a number of television programs for children the authors noted that many scenes portrayed race as a contributing factor to violence and aggressive behavior.
The articles addressed the problem of television programming that affects childrens’ behavior negatively. Earles et al. (2002) suggested that physicians should ask about childrens’ TV habits, while Tesar &amp. Doppen (2006) recommended that teachers should teach critical thinking that helps children analyze their media habits. Levin and Carlsson-Paige (2003) found that children of color were most at risk. Policy makers and producers should be pro-active by decreasing the negative impact of the media on our childrens’ development.
References
Earles, K. A., Alexander, R., Johnson, M., Liverpool, J, &amp. McGee, M.. (2002). Media influences on children and adolescents: violence and sex. Journal of the National Medical Association, 94, 787-801.
Levin, D. E., &amp. Carlsson-Paige, N. (2003). Marketing violence: The special toll on young children of color. The Journal of Negro Education, 72(4), 427-437.
Tesar, J. A., &amp. Doppen, F. H. (2006). Propaganda and collective behavior: Who is doing it, how does it affect us, and what can we do about it The Social Studies, 257(261).

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