Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seeing and experiencing violence makes aggression 'normal' for children

Date:
March 31, 2011
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
The more children are exposed to violence, the more they think it's normal, according to a new study. Unfortunately, the more they think violence is normal, the more likely they are to engage in aggression against others.

The more children are exposed to violence, the more they think it's normal, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science (published by SAGE). Unfortunately, the more they think violence is normal, the more likely they are to engage in aggression against others.

Researchers asked nearly 800 children, from 8 to 12 years old, about whether they had witnessed violence at school, in their neighborhood, at home, or on TV. They also asked the participants if they had been a victim of violence with questions like "How often has somebody hit you at home?" The survey also measured responses to whether aggression was appropriate, such as in the statement: "Sometimes you have to hit others because they deserve it." The final section of the questionnaire measured how aggressive the child was, based both on their own report and what their classmates said about them.

Six months later, they surveyed the children again, asking the same questions. This allowed them to test whether witnessing violence -- or being a victim of it -- led to higher levels of aggression half a year later.

The schoolchildren who had witnessed violence were more aggressive. Witnessing violence also had a delayed effect -- observing violence at the first phase of the study predicted more aggression six months later, over and above how aggressive the children were in the beginning.

The same effect occurred for being a victim of violence. Victimization at the first phase of the study was associated with more aggression six months later, even given the high levels of aggression at the study's start.

The increased aggression was caused in part by a change in how the children thought that violence was normal. Seeing violence -- at home, school, on TV, or as its victim -- made it seem common, normal, and acceptable. Thinking that aggression is "normal" led to more of it.

"Exposure to violence can also increase aggression regardless of whether at home, at school, in or in the virtual world of TV, regardless of whether the person is a witness or a victim," the authors wrote. "People exposed to a heavy diet of violence come to believe that aggression is a normal way to solve conflict and get what you want in life. These beliefs lower their inhibitions against aggression against others."

The research team was headed by Izaskun Orue of University of Deusto in Spain, and included Brad Bushman of Ohio State University, and researchers from The Netherlands and Germany.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. I. Orue, B. J. Bushman, E. Calvete, S. Thomaes, B. Orobio de Castro, R. Hutteman. Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Hurt: Longitudinal Effects of Exposure to Violence on Children's Aggressive Behavior. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2011; DOI: 10.1177/1948550610396586

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications. "Seeing and experiencing violence makes aggression 'normal' for children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329095742.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2011, March 31). Seeing and experiencing violence makes aggression 'normal' for children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329095742.htm
SAGE Publications. "Seeing and experiencing violence makes aggression 'normal' for children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329095742.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

Newsy (Apr. 13, 2014) Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed an app to fight jet lag by adjusting your body's light intake. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

AP (Apr. 10, 2014) As states slash funding for mental health services, police officers are interacting more than ever with people suffering from schizophrenia and other serious disorders of the mind. The consequences can be deadly. (April 10) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Newsy (Apr. 9, 2014) A University of Pittsburgh study found pop music that mentions alcohol is linked to higher drinking rates among teens. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins