Topics: Television, Television program, Aggression Pages: 7 (1852 words) Published: September 26, 2013

Pro-social Behaviour

Source 1:
Pro-social Television programmes
Stein and Fredrich (1972) (jstor)

Aim: To find out if pro-social behaviour on tv programs can affect children’s behaviour. Procedure: 49 children were exposed to four weeks of television involving one of the three types of programme: aggressive, neutral or pro-social. Results: Those in the pro-social condition subsequently showed more helpfulness, co-operation and affection than those in the other conditions. Conclusion: pro-social behaviour in the TV shows had made the children more helpful, affectionate and co-operative then the other two. This has shown that from what they was shown they had picked up the behaviour and used it themselves. - longitudinal study - small group of children

Source 2:
Pro-Social Behaviour on Television
Smith et el (2006)

Aim: to see how being exposed to pro-social behaviour affects children. Procedure: A content analysis was carried out of 2,227 US television shows from 18 channels. Conclusion: Many programs did show pro-social behaviour even though not a lot was shown per hour. The rise was good but not good enough. Results: 73% of the programs shown had some sort of pro-social behaviour. Around 2.92 acts of pro-social behaviour were shown every hour. This rose to 4.02 acts shown on the television. -huge amount of shows :only 18 channels used

Source 3:
Pro-social Behaviour and Children
UK Millennium Cohort Study- Abstract

Aim: To explore how time watching TV and playing electronic games at age 5 years each predicts change in psychosocial adjustment in a representative sample of 7 year-olds from the UK. Procedure: Typical daily hours viewing television and playing electronic games at age 5 years were reported by mothers of 11 014 children from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Conduct problems, emotional symptoms, peer relationship problems, hyperactivity/inattention and prosocial behavior were reported by mothers using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Change in adjustment from age 5 years to 7 years was regressed on screen exposures; adjusting for family characteristics and functioning, and child characteristics. Results: Watching TV for 3 h or more at 5 years predicted a 0.13 point increase (95% CI 0.03 to 0.24) in conduct problems by 7 years, compared with watching for under an hour, but playing electronic games was not associated with conduct problems. No associations were found between either type of screen time and emotional symptoms, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems or prosocial behaviour. There was no evidence of gender differences in the effect of screen time. Conclusion: TV but not electronic games predicted a small increase in conduct problems. Screen time did not predict other aspects of psychosocial adjustment. Further work is required to establish causal mechanisms. -good amount of children - small age gap for observation

Source 4:
Media and Aggression
Huesmenn et al (2003)

Aim: To find out if watching violent tv programs can lead to higher levels of aggression later on in life. Procedure: A longitudinal study of 557 boys and girls in Chicago. Children were studied in 1977when they were aged 5-8 and asked about their favourite TV programs and characters. Popular shows were ‘the six million dollar man’, ‘starsky and hutch’ and ‘the bionic woman’. In 1991, 389 were followed up in their early twenties. They were asked to identify their three favourite tv programs and how much they watch them. They were also asked to name three people who knew them well and they had a face-to-face or phone call interview about the person. The interviewees were asked how often they lost their temper or became aggressive. Results: The viewing of violent TV shows when children were between six and nine years of age correlated significantly with measures of adult aggression both men and women 15years later. This was significant in physical...

Links: Between viewing habits and violence
Milarsky et al (1982)
Controlling what is viewed as in Berkowitz (1969) and Parke et al (1977) – OK in short term, impossible in long term.
Gunter & MacAleer (1990):
‘we are still a long way from knowing fully the extent and character of TV’s influence on children’s aggressive
Van-Velsen (1998):
Putwain & Sammons (2002):
‘The evidence regarding the effects of violent media on aggressive behaviour is far from clear and it would be unwise to state unequivocally that the two are causally linked.’
Cumberbatch (2002):
‘researchers that believe in a link [between TV and aggression] have a tendency to torture the data until they confess.’
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