World News and Trends: TV viewing and violence

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TV viewing and violence

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Researchers also concluded that the more television participants viewed, the more likely they were to engage in violent behavior.

The study began in 1983 when researchers interviewed 707 teenagers, average age 14, about their viewing habits. They followed up eight years later, correlating the amount of television viewing with law-enforcement records and information gleaned through interviews with the participants. Of those who watched TV less than an hour a day, fewer than 6 percent had acted violently in a way that resulted in a serious injury. However, the rate of violence tripled, to 18.4 percent, among those who watched one to three hours of TV daily. Among those who watched more than three hours of TV, the rate of violence more than quadrupled to 25.3 percent.

Researchers also studied the group after another eight years had passed and most were well into adulthood. Again the differences were startling. Of those who watched less than an hour of TV daily as adults, only 1.2 percent had committed a violent act—compared to 10.8 percent of those who averaged three or more hours a day. This almost fivefold increase led researchers to conclude that adult behavior, too, is shaped by TV viewing.

The impact of media exposure on our thinking, values and behavior is the subject of several articles in this issue. We urge you to read all of them as well as the sources mentioned in the recommended-reading boxes at the end of each article. This study is further proof that what you allow into your mind has major consequences in your life. (Source: The Washington Post.)