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Its effects are measurable and long lasting. Moreover, prolonged viewing of media violence can lead to emotional desensitization toward violence in real life.
The conclusion of the public health community, based on over 30 years of research, is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children. - AAP/AACAP/APA/AMA

Why You Should Act Now - The Justification

There are more than 1,000 studies on record addressing the subject of media violence and its adverse impact on children.

Two key reports help us understand the adverse impact of violent content in media targeted at children. These latest reports (Jul. 2000 and Jan. 2001) are from internationally renowned American medical, psychological institutes, academies, associations and the office of US Surgeon General.

The first document, a landmark joint statement entitled The Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children (Jul. 20, 2000) by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of FamilyPhysicians (AAFP) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

The second report is from the office of United States Surgeon General entitled Violence in the Media and Its Effect on Youth Violence (Jan. 17, 2001).

Extracts from the above reports are presented it in a question/answer format, for clarity.  Questions (from parents) are in bold followed by answers from the report:


TV and video games increase teen depression risk: study

WASHINGTON (AFP) Spending more hours watching television or playing video games as a teenager may lead to depression in young adults, according to a study published Monday.

Researchers looked at the exposure to electronic media of 4,142 adolescents who were not depressed when the study began in 1995, before DVDs and the Internet were widely used.

The teens reported an average of 5.68 hours of media exposure per day, including 2.3 hours of television, 2.34 hours of radio, 0.62 hours of videocassettes and 0.41 hours of computer games.

Seven years later, when the participants were an average of 21.8 years old, 308 of them (7.4 percent) had developed symptoms consistent with depression.

"In the fully adjusted models, participants had significantly greater odds of developing depression by follow-up for each hour of daily television viewed," wrote the authors of the study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal.

"In addition, those reporting higher total media exposure had significantly greater odds of developing depression for each additional hour of daily use," said the study, led by Brian Primack of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Young women were found to be less likely to develop symptoms of depression than young men when exposed to the same amount of electronic media.

Depression, the leading cause of non-fatal disability worldwide, commonly begins in adolescence or young adulthood, the article explained.

The authors noted that time spent engaging with electronic media may replace time that could be spent on social, athletic or intellectual activities that could guard against depression.

Messages transmitted through electronic media may encourage aggression, inspire fear or anxiety and hamper identity development, they added.

Being exposed to media at night may also disrupt sleep important for emotional and cognitive development.

"When high amounts of television or total exposure are present, a broader assessment of the adolescent's psychosocial functioning may be appropriate, including screening for current depressive symptoms and for the presence of additional risk factors," the authors said.

"If no other immediate intervention is indicated, encouraging patients to participate in activities that promote a sense of mastery and social connection may promote the development of protective factors against depression."



Two Reports-click below


AAFP/ APA Report


United States Surgeon General Report




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