Thursday, January 29, 2009

Less exposure to violent media makes kids less aggressive

Reuters HealthDay reported on October 29, 2008 on a study to be presented that day at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association which found that kids who don't watch violent and aggressive media are much less likely to be aggressive. Here is a snippet from the HealthDay article:

Children and young teens with only minimal exposure to violent entertainment in the media are far less likely to engage in aggressive behavior, a new survey suggests.
"We're looking at a slice in time, so I can't tell you that the media exposure is causing violent behavior, or in the reverse that violent kids are looking for violent media," noted study author Michele Ybarra, president and research director of Internet Solutions for Kids -- a nonprofit research organization based in Santa Ana, Calif.
"But what we can tell you is that kids reporting that none or little of the media they are exposed to depicts violence are significantly less likely to be violent or aggressive than kids exposed to some or a lot of violent media."
Ybarra and her colleagues were expected to present the findings Wednesday at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting, in San Diego.

GCASA staff is well aware that a primary skill of growing children is emotional control. Children who are implusive, act out, and engage in bullying and disruptive behavior are much more likely to abuse substances. There is a link between aggression and substance abuse. Good parental supervision and the setting of appropriate limits goes a long way in mitigating the development of problematic behaviors.

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