Stripping away the hype, this book describes how, when, and why media violence can influence children of different ages, giving parents and teachers the power to maximize the media's benefits and minimize its harm.
There are many opinions about media violence and children, but not all are supported by science. In this book, the top experts gather the latest results from 50 years of scientific study as the basis for a comprehensive, in-depth examination of the complex issues surrounding the effects of media violence of different types. Each chapter focuses on a particular issue of concern, including “hot” topics such as brain development, cyber-bullying, video games, and verbal aggression. Articles take into account factors such as economics, differences based on the ages of children, and differences between types of media violence.
This book provides the information parents and those who work with families need to make the best choices. It includes chapters specifically relevant to the types of bullying schools have the most trouble identifying and controlling. Most importantly, the writing is both intelligent and accessible so that parents, educators, pediatricians, and policymakers can understand and apply the findings presented.
- Includes the newest research on topics of particular concern today, including cyber-bullying, video games, song lyrics, and brain development
- Covers all major media, including television, movies, music, video games, and the Internet
- Describes the psychological processes through which media violence influences attitudes, emotions, and behaviors
- Provides the context necessary to understand why media violence does not affect everyone the same way
- Discusses how media violence intersects with public policy, identifies the problems with the existing rating systems, and suggests strategies to improve the situation and foster children's healthy development
Douglas A. Gentile, PhD, is associate professor of developmental psychology at Iowa State University and one of the top experts on the psychological effects of media on children and adolescents. His published works include scores of peer-reviewed scientific articles, the 2003 edition of Media Violence and Children, and Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy. He was honored with the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Media Psychology Award from the American Psychological Association and was named one of the Top 300 Professors in the United States by the Princeton Review.
Reviews"Mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut, have brought the issue of the effects of mass media violence on young people to the forefront once again. This volume not only helps to examine and discuss the scientific research, but presents it in a light that parents and policymakers can clearly understand. The book is both comprehensive and up-to-date. A valuable and must-have resource not only for researchers but the public as well."
—Ed Donnerstein, PhD, Dean Emeritus, University of Arizona
"Every psychologist, physician, social worker, educator, early childhood professional—anyone who cares about children—should read this book and earmark the pages. Dr. Doug Gentile has marshaled the best scholars in the field to share the best and latest research on the critical issue of media violence's impact on children and youth. "
—David Walsh, PhD, Psychologist and Author
"What makes this book exciting and compelling is the addition of a new chapter on media violence and the brain where research by neuroscientists is presented, and a chapter on cyberbullying, a phenomenon that has led to dire consequences for a number of teenagers. An important component of the book is the recommendations for parents, pediatricians, and policymakers about both the benefits as well as the harmful effects of the media."
—Dorothy G. Singer, PhD, Retired, Senior Research Scientist, Yale University
"Children today are immersed in the media, like fish in water. Unfortunately, the water is not clean. It often contains objectionable content such as violence. Although hundreds of studies have examined the effects of media violence on children, parents are often unaware of the findings because they do not read scientific journals, and mass media often downplay potentially harmful effects of violent media, just like the tobacco industry downplayed the harmful effects of cigarettes. In this book, researchers tell parents in easy-to-understand language what the scientific research says about violent media effects on children. Using this book, parents can help their children swim in cleaner water, and even encourage them to get out of the water and explore the land by turning off media more often."
—Brad J. Bushman, PhD, Professor of Communication and Psychology, Margaret Hall and Robert Randal Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication, Ohio State University
"Today’s parents, teachers, and everyone who cares for children deserve better than current heated arguments about media violence; a conflict fueled by short-sighted corporate greed and professional advancement rather than concern for today’s youth and tomorrow’s society. Dr. Gentile has assembled scientific findings from the best researchers in the world to examine exactly how we are changed when we watch and play violent media, replacing the heat of controversy with the light of evidence."—Michael Rich, MD, MPH, Director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health