The Positive Effects Of TV Violence And The Negative Effects On Children

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Shoba Chugani, Contributor, Jakarta

Elementary schoolboys wrestling in ""smackdown"" style have become a common sight in schools throughout Indonesia, even though the program has been taken off the air by all local TV stations.

Intense protest at the death of a 9-year-old boy (in Bandung, 2006), who was beaten to death during an apparent smackdown-style fight with his friends, successfully led to the cancellation of the program.

Alas, this is not the end of the horrific story. Just a month ago, the media again reported the case of an elementary schoolboy (Bali, 2007) who died in the aftermath of a fight with his classmate.

Teachers and friends said that this particular classmate tended to be aggressive. Can we then blame this act on the negative effects of TV violence?

Results of psychological research carried out abroad and in Indonesia have shown that a correlation between TV violence exposure and aggression does exist, wherein increased exposure to TV violence may feed on the individual 's aggression.

For viewers, especially children, there 's always a danger of imitating acts portrayed by models on TV. Positive appraisal for the acts of these models on TV provides positive reinforcement for children to imitate these acts, not necessarily immediately, but possibly in the long run.

One psychological mechanism that explains how exposure to TV violence can encourage aggressive behavior in a child is as follows:

* Step 1 -- Acquisition

A child views a movie hero

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