Violence online is becoming more and more realistic

A truly valuable article that highlights the new guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding parental guidance of children and their media diet. Commenting on these just-released guidelines of the AAP, Dmitri Christakis, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle says that violence, especially online, is becoming more intense. Continue reading

Studies on video game violence lack nuance

A review of a recent study on the link between violent video games and real life violence among youths. Per usual, the study shows a link and per usual, the debate is how central violent video games are in fomenting violent acts versus other factors, like family violence or poverty. Continue reading

Violent media may lead to a lack of empathy

An interesting and hopeful article that should be read and re-read. The issue here is that parents are becoming more and more aware of how problematic violent video games can be for kids, despite there still being some controversy about how often and how seriously violence from video games and media might be directly affecting children’s evolvement in actual violence. Continue reading

Excessive screen time linked to anxiety and depression

An arresting article about how a study published by Public Health England concludes that excessive screen time is linked to anxiety and depression and limits children’s opportunities for social interaction and physical activity. Continue reading

Too much media immersion can lead to depression

The sheer number of scholarly articles keeps mounting. In this article, which features a study done by researchers in Britain, it seems that immersion in screens by kids has a number of problematic effects in the areas of self esteem, anxiety and depression. Continue reading

Fatal shooting not as simple as it appears

A disturbing case of a boy of eight who shot his grandmother with a 38 caliber handgun moments after he was playing video game Grand Theft Auto. Though the specifics are still unclear, we are told that he had a loving relationship with his grandmother but that he may have shot her intentionally. Continue reading

Too many screens may be ruining your kids

An absolutely excellent article outlining the ideas of Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair in the book The Big Disconnect, which makes the point that media screens are seriously disrupting American families in ways that are at once subtle and serious. Continue reading

Media influence is a nuanced issue that may never be settled

A very valuable look at the state of play involving violence and the media and its effects on kids. As the author rightly points out, most issues in social science are never truly “settled” in the same way that Newton’s three laws or Einstein’s law of relativity have become settled laws of physics. Rather, he declares that the prevailing theory is that media violence does have negative impacts on children’s proclivity toward violence. Continue reading

Is there really an argument here?

A valuable article on unfortunately tries to foment conflict about a report from the National Science Foundation as though there is some major disagreement, even though I don’t think there needs to be. Continue reading

Oversimplifying the issue

“Former FBI profiler says games do not cause violence.” A very misleading title since the FBI profiler, who was being interviewed on “Face the Nation,” was not disputing that exposure to violent media is a risk factor in terms of kids turning to violence and aggression. Rather, she sees violent media as one of many factors including gang involvement, poverty and family violence that can lead to violence in youths. Continue reading