Television Programs and Violent Behavior in Children

Summary Overview of the Research topic

The invention of televisions has been one of the most revolutionary advancements in the field of mass media. Televisions have helped disseminate information and real-time news to the masses effectively, keeping people informed of the events in their location and other parts of the world. However, the presence of televisions at home raises another challenge, their effects on children’s behavior. Research from as early as the 1980s shows a correlation between violent behaviors in children and teenagers due to the content they watch on television. The broadcasted violent materials occasionally result in fear or aggressive traits in the children who watch them. Children are more likely to imitate aggressive behavior if portrayed in a way that may suggest that they are real. The research question will be: Is there a link between television programs and violent behaviors in children?

Articles reviewed and their Abstracts

Impact of Media Violence on Aggressive and Criminal Behaviour of Young Population in Taif City, Saudi Arabia.


The young population including children and adolescents represents more than a quarter of the world’s population during the stage of human development, and risk-taking and violent behaviors are prevailing among this group of people. There are a lot of factors that increase the rate of aggression and violence such as being male, low level of parents’ education and occupation, living in urban and/or slum areas, exposure to the violence within the family, and changes in the behavior of any family member. In addition, violence prevalence in television, videogames and movies has been considered among the factors mentioned as causing aggressive behavior among young people. This study aimed to determine the possible associations between watching aggression on media and playing violent videogames from one side, and the aggressive behavior of children of mothers attending pediatric outpatient clinics, Prince Mansour hospital in Taif city, on the other. A cross-sectional study was used, and it was implemented in Prince Mansour Military Hospital, (PMMH) in Taif. There were 341 participants in this study, and the systematic random sampling technique was used in selecting the sample. The tools consisted of three parts: the first one was the demographic data, the second was the history of watching TV and playing video games, and the third was a questionnaire including 51 questions that addressed the children’s different types of behaviors including aggression. The main results revealed statistically significant differences between aggression and age, sex, education and occupation of parents (p-value is 0.035., 0.015, 0.010 and 026. respectively). Also, the results illustrated that there was a significant association between high and extremely high risk of aggression and playing video games.

Synopsis of the Article

Studies have been conducted in the past to explore the relationship between violent behaviors in children and the television programs they watch. The main aim of this study was to investigate the possible relationship that exists between watching violence in the media and aggressive behaviors in children. Consequently, it investigated how playing video games that have violent themes are associated with children’s aggressive behaviors (Dhafar et al., 2018). This research is important because researchers lack agreement on the relationship between media violence and aggressive child behaviors before it was conducted.

According to the study, playing video games with violent themes aggravated the risk of aggression in children. Children who spent most of their time playing violent games were more likely to exhibit violent behaviors towards their peers at home or school (Dhafar et al., 2018). If measures are not taken to control the use of the videogames by children, the trend will continue. This study also highlighted the increased risk for aggression among children in Taif, Saudi Arabia. The high risk was more prevalent among children aged ten and twelve years exposed to television and media violence through stirring films or violent video games (Dhafar et al., 2018). Therefore, the findings of this study proved to be consistent with other studies that have been conducted on the same topic.

Moreover, the study suggested some interventions that could be employed to remedy the situation. First, parents can encourage their children to spend more time in sporting activities. Second, parents can spend more time with their children and know what they watch on television and what games they play. Furthermore, parents can work with teachers to help the children watch educational content on the television (Dhafar et al., 2018). Lastly, the study suggested that parents can be trained on how to control the content their children watch.

This study was quantitative as it employed a cross-sectional study. It sampled three hundred and forty-one participants. A random sampling technique was used to select the study population, and self-administered questionnaires were used to collect the data. Before the actual study, a pilot study consisting of thirty-five respondents was conducted. The pilot study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of the study and the clarity of the questionnaires.

Effects of Television Viewing on the social behavior of elementary school students: a qualitative study


It was a qualitative study conducted to evaluate the effects of television viewing on the social behavior of elementary school students. This study addressed the current situation in an explanatory way. Therefore, it was of descriptive nature and adopted the survey approach to collect qualitative data. Elementary school teachers (who were teaching in Grade-VI to Grade-VIII) of government boys’ elementary and secondary schools of the Bahawalpur division comprised the population of the study. Sampling consisted of two stages i.e. firstly 70 schools were selected randomly, and secondly, 140 teachers (two teachers from each of the sampled schools) were selected purposively. The data were collected through an interview protocol which was prepared after literature review, piloted and finalized. Five data collectors who were trained for the purpose during pilot testing of the tool also facilitated data collection. Interview sessions were organized with the prior consent of the respondents. The data collectors took notes of the responses of respondents during the interview. After data collection, the notes of the interviews were categorized thematically by means of qualitative content analysis in a report writing style. The study demonstrates that television viewing has both positive and negative effects on the social behavior of elementary school students. The positive effects include adopting pro-social behaviors and social values, awareness creation and making them informed citizens, communicating and living with others, learning ethics and etiquette, knowing gender roles and relationships, and becoming aware of the health and physique for positive body image of self and so on. Whereas, the negative effects consist of aggression and violence, antisocial behaviors and negative body images when idealizing models on the screen. However, learning and learning performance is affected positively and as well as negatively; and therefore, it that is television viewing should be controlled and selected programs should be allowed for viewing.

Synopsis of this Article

Social behaviors are developed through the interactions of individuals in society. This study aimed at evaluating the effects of television viewing on the social behaviors of elementary school students. Moreover, the study also aimed to evaluate how watching television shapes elementary school students’ social behaviors. Findings from these studies will help establish ways to control or encourage watching television by children and adolescents.

The study found that elementary school students’ television viewing had both positive and negative effects on social behavior. The positive effects included adopting critical social values such as honesty, hard work, and appreciation (Sajjad et al., 2017). The respondents said that they were destined for more productive and peaceful lives by embracing these social values. They also received information on educational institutions and programs, cultures from other countries, and learning new languages (Sajjadet et al., 2017). With the information, they became well informed about current affairs and, therefore, live confident lives.

Furthermore, the respondents said that through television, they could learn how to communicate with different people. They learn how to communicate with their peers, parents, and even teachers. Moreover, through watching the television, they could learn how to eat in public and dress. The respondents also said that television viewing enhanced their way of treating older people, guests, and even friends. Therefore, television viewing is essential for the promotion of ethics and etiquette.

However, the study also discovered that television viewing had negative effects on the students’ social behavior. The respondents believed that students who spent most of their time watching television were more likely to develop aggressive behaviors (Sajjadet et al., 2017). Nonetheless, the study suggested some measures that can be put in place to save the situation. For instance, television viewing can be controlled by parents, and only selected programs are allowed.

The study was a qualitative study due to its descriptive nature and use of a survey approach to collect data. The study used the interview method for the collection of the information. The interview was conducted after the respondents had consented to it, and the interviewer took notes of the respondent’s responses.

Testing the Moderating Role of Social Context on Media Violence Effect in the Case of Peer Aggression among Adolescents


The main aim of the study was to examine a potential moderator role of social context in which children are exposed to media (alone, with peers, with parents) in the relationship between the frequency of media use and the frequency of committed peer aggression. The study included 880 elementary school students, which completed the following self-assessment measures: Peer violence among school children questionnaire (Velki & Jagodić, 2017), and Exposure to the media scale (Velki & Kuterovac Jagodić, 2017). A moderation effect of parental and peer social context was found; e.g., social context had a positive effect on decreasing the correlation between watching TV and electronic peer aggression. Peers social context during playing computer games was associated with a decrease in physical peer aggression. Browsing the Internet with parents or peers also decreased physical and/or electronic peer aggression. The importance of social context as a protective factor is highlighted in the discussion. Keywords: electronic media, peer aggression, social context, parents, peers

Synopsis of this Article

The study aimed to examine the number of times children use different media, i.e., television, internet, and video games, and the context in which they use the media. Consequently, it sought to establish the existing relationship between time spent in different media and the types of aggression that resulted from media use. The study wanted to examine the potential moderator of the social context in which the children used the media and how that contributed to growing aggression among the children (Velki & Jadogic, 2017). These objectives were the elements that guided this study.

The results from the study varied in terms of the objectives that had been set forth before the actual study. The Croatian adolescents spent at least five hours each week watching television and mostly did it in the presence of their parents (Velki & Jadogic, 2017). However, there is a considerable number of children who watched television alone or in their peers’ presence. Those who watched television in the presence of their parents had low chances of developing aggressive behavior.

The study has also shown that most adolescents in Croatia spent a significant amount of time playing video games. According to the study, children spent a minimum of five hours per week playing video games (Velki & Jadogic, 2017). Consequently, these adolescents play video games with their peers, and due to a lack of parental control, they may develop violent behaviors. Furthermore, the adolescents spent more time browsing the internet in the absence of their parents.

The study found that exposure to media in the absence of parents increased the risk of developing violent behaviors in the youths. Adolescents who spent most of their time watching television, playing video games, or browsing the internet tended to be more violent (Velki & Jadogic, 2017). They occasionally directed their violence, either physically or verbally, towards their peers. Furthermore, the research is essential as it contributes immensely to media violence’s role in violent behavior among the youths.

The study is quantitative in nature since it involved the use of questionnaires. To collect data, the study used self-assessment questionnaires that were administered to eight hundred and eighty respondents. The respondents were students and so the study obtained their consent from their parents. There was also exposure to the media scale, which was used to collect data.

Screen Time Activities and Aggressive Behaviors Among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review


Aggressive behaviors have an increasing trend in children and adolescents all over the world. This study aimed to perform a systematic review on the association between screen time activities and aggressive behaviors. Methods: A systematic search was conducted through PubMed, Institute of Scientific Information (ISI), and Scopus, until 2017. Moreover, related unpublished studies (grey literature, thesis project and congress paper), are considered for further data availability. Data extraction and quality assessment were conducted by two independent experts. Results: Through searching processes, 4381 publications were found, from them. 483 papers were from the PubMed database and others were from ISI/WOS (1724) and Scopus (1938). Following the exclusion of non-relevant and duplicated studies, 19 studies remained for further analysis. The findings of the present study showed that children and adolescents who share most of their time watching television are at greater risk for violent behaviors including physical fighting, victimization and bullying. Conclusion: This review found that children and adolescents who share most of their time watching television are at greater risk for violent behaviors including physical fights, victimization and bullying. Keywords: Adolescents, aggressive behaviors, children, screen time.

Synopsis of this article

The study aimed at summarizing the results of already published studies related to the topic of screen time activities and their contribution to aggression and violent behaviors in children. Amidst summarizing the previous studies, this study examined the relationship between screen time and aggressive and violent behaviors in children. This is because there existed a research gap on how the amount of time spent watching television could lead to aggression among children.

This article affirms that children who spend much time watching television are likely to develop aggressive behaviors. The violent behaviors that they are likely to display include physical fighting or even verbal abuse towards their peers (Keikha et al., 2020). This study’s results are consistent with the discoveries of the previous studies that focused on this topic. Previous studies show that children are likely to develop violent behaviors if they spend more than two hours a day watching the television or playing video games. Consequently, these studies have shown that violent and aggressive behaviors are less prevalent in children who spend less time watching television. They spend their free time with their family members most of the time, who provide support whenever they need it.

To help reduce the risk of aggressive and violent behaviors in children, the study developed some strategies. First, the study suggested that parents could monitor and supervise their children to ensure that they did not spend much time watching television (Keikha et al., 2020). Consequently, there should be screening to identify children who have been affected by the violence in the media. The children identified to have gone through the media violence can be assisted with coping strategies. This will help reduce the display of violence by adolescents towards their peers.

This study was a qualitative study due to its systematic review of past studies. It used comprehensive electronic databases such as Scopus and PubMed, and the keywords used were violence and screen-time. Furthermore, there was the inclusion of descriptive and analytical studies.

Adverse Effects of Media on Children and Youth’ Socialization Process: A Study on Violent and Aggressive Behaviors


This article addresses theories and studies related to media violence’s effect on children and adults’ aggressive behaviors. According to social learning theory, people can learn aggression by observing and imitating violence in the mass media. Observational learning contributes to both the short- and long-term effects of media violence on aggressive behaviors in children. Children make inferences from repeatedly observing the violent behaviors and they can develop schemas about a hostile world and normative beliefs that are more approving of aggression. The experimental studies indicated that the children who watched the violent film exhibited physical, verbal and indirect aggression. The longitudinal studies found significant correlations between frequent viewing of violence in the media in childhood and physical, verbal and indirect aggression during young adulthood for both men and women later in life. Often exposure to violence on television during childhood can promote aggression in later childhood, adolescence and young adulthood.

Synopsis of the Article

The article deals with experimental and field strategies and theories that explain the effects of viewing media violence in childhood. It shows that children’s and adolescents’ television watching plays an integral role in acquiring violent and aggressive behaviors. This is because children can imitate what their favorite characters were doing in the violent media they watched (Sengonul, 2017). By observing and imitating these behaviors, children develop aggressive and violent behaviors directed towards their peers.

Consequently, the article suggests that children may develop violent behaviors as means of solving problems. This comes after watching violent media inspired by their favorite characters who employ aggressive problem-solving techniques. Repeated watching of violent media undermines the healthy development of children and adolescents (Sengonul, 2017). The health and general well-being of the child is at risk if they are exposed to violent media. The study suggests that continued watching of violent media eliminates the child’s creativity and replaces it with imitation. Children tend to imitate the scenes they watched on television instead of creating creative ways to play.

Furthermore, the article provides ways that can be used to reduce the development of aggressive and violent behavior in children and adolescents. Parents can make rules on media use in the household. The rules may include the stipulated time for watching the television and other media, the extent to which the media can be used, and the watched content. Consequently, they can watch violent programs with their children and help them evaluate the situation. The study showed that children who watched violent media with their parents tended to be less aggressive (Sengonul, 2017). Finally, the article suggests that parents should monitor the viewing habits of their children. This will help them know the content their kids watch and therefore develop better content for them.

The study was qualitative in nature as it involved longitudinal research due to the study’s experimental nature. The data was collected through observation of the aggressive behaviors of the adolescents and the children. The longitudinal study was conducted by interviewing the children and their parents.


Dhafar, O. Y., Algarni, G. A., Mubarak, S. A., Aljuaid, F. E., & Zafar O. H. (2018). Impact of media violence on the aggressive and criminal behavior of the young population in Taif city, Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research & Allied Sciences, 7(3), 91-98. Web.

Keikha, M., Qorbani, M., Tabaee, M. S. K., Djalalinia, s., & Kelishadi, R. (2020). Screen time activities and aggressive behaviors among children and adolescents: A systematic review. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 11(59), 1-10. Web.

Sajjad, S., Hussain, I., Rana, H. U. R., & Ramzan, M. (2017). Effects of television viewing on the social behavior of elementary school students: A qualitative study. New Horizons, 11(1), 136-142. Web.

Sengonul, T. (2017). Negative effects of media on children and youth’ socialization process: A study on violent and aggressive behaviors. Çukurova Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 46(2), 368-380. Web.

Velki, T & Jagodic, G. K. (2017). Testing the moderating role of social context on media violence effect in the case of peer aggression among adolescents. Studia Psychologica, 59(1), 34-49. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Television Programs and Violent Behavior in Children'. 25 January.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Television Programs and Violent Behavior in Children." January 25, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Television Programs and Violent Behavior in Children." January 25, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Television Programs and Violent Behavior in Children." January 25, 2023.