US Mayor Article

Prominent Medical and Psychological Health Groups Agree Entertainment Violence Leads to Anti-Social Behaviors in Children

July 31, 2000


The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association, on July 26, issued a joint statement on the impact of entertainment violence on children, reaching the following conclusions:

Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume that acts of violence are acceptable behavior.

Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decrease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.

Entertainment violence feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place. Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behaviors and a mistrust of others.

Viewing violence may lead to real life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed.

While acknowledging that more research is needed to fully assess the impact of violent interactive entertainment (video games and other interactive media) on young people, the experts agree that preliminary studies indicate that the negative impact may be significantly more severe than that wrought by television, movies, or music. 

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