- A different(ial) perspective: How social context influences the media violence-aggression relationship among early adolescents
- Award date
- 25 February 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Does violence on television and in games make teens more aggressive? The answer to this question is subject to passionate debates among parents, children, journalists, and academics. Some are convinced that kids become more aggressive after playing Call of Duty or watching Game of Thrones, while others are equally convinced that this is not the case. Rather than assuming that effects of media violence on aggression are the same for all teens, this dissertation investigated which adolescents are more vulnerable to media violence by zooming in on their social context (family, parents, peers). The dissertation reports five empirical studies based on longitudinal survey data from circa 500 Dutch families with children between 10 and 14 years old. A key conclusion is that media violence exposure does not lead to an increase in aggression over time for all adolescents. However, some adolescents do become more aggressive as a result of playing violent games or watching violent television programs. Media violence was related to increased aggression among teens growing up in a high conflict family or who perceive more aggression in their peer group. For teens growing up in positive or neutral social contexts (no aggression in the family or peer group), media violence exposure was either not related to aggression, or related to lower aggression at a later time. By applying a different(ial) perspective to the classic question of media violence and aggression, this dissertation offers important new insights and a step towards a more balanced understanding of media violence effects.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Thesis (complete) (Embargo up to and including 25 February 2018)
Chapter 4: A matter of style? The differential effects of parental mediation on early adolescents’ media violence exposure and aggression (Embargo up to and including 25 February 2018)
Chapter 6: Beyond the lab: Investigating early adolescents’ cognitive, emotional, and arousal responses to violent games (Embargo up to and including 25 February 2018)
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