Troubling Short and LongTerm Violent Media Effects on Children



The two articles provide compelling evidence that violent media has significant short-term and long-term effects on children’s development of aggressive thoughts, emotions, and actions, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, intelligence, and parenting styles and characteristics. The two articles are similar in examining the effects of violent media on children. Anderson and Bushman conducted a meta-analysis on studies that investigated the impacts of playing video games on aggression, physiological arousal, or prosocial behaviour. They wanted to know if playing violent media is connected to aggressive thoughts, emotions, or actions, or all of the above, and what the underlying mechanisms are for these connections. Huesmann et al. also studied the effect of violent media on children, particularly how watching violent TV in childhood affected later young adult aggression. They conducted a follow-up study of the 1977 longitudinal study that the authors did on 557 children who lived in Chicago. They considered other factors too that can explain the media-behaviour relationship, including preference for violence and third variables. These two articles are both interested in studying the effects of media violence on children’s aggression levels. Though these studies share similar general research topics on violent media effects on children, the two articles are different in their research designs because Anderson and Bushman used a meta-analysis design, while Huesmann et al. continued their longitudinal study.