Violence online is becoming more and more realistic

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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

Is there a clear link between media violence and bad behavior in kids?

An article that captures some of the controversy surrounding the issue of the impact of violent media on kids. Three experts are cited and quoted. One expert, Dr. Dmitri Christakis from Seattle, takes the side of grave concern and supports the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which sees a clear link between media violence and problematic behaviors in children. He argues, for instance, for parents to play violent video games with their children and form opinions about the game and then make parental decisions about media diet accordingly. Continue reading

Media violence: which children are most at risk?

A short if very worthwhile article by a Harvard academic, Gene Beresin, MD, who is director of the training program in child psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, about the effects of media violence on children and adolescents. In this article, Beresin lays out the facts rather simply and effectively. Continue reading

More arguments against overexposing kids to media violence

A fine article penned by a child psychologist in Toronto, which lays out the compelling argument that violent media viewing, especially when undertaken in great amounts, plays a serious role in children behaving in a violent manner. This violence can involve verbal violence, bullying, pushing and shoving. But the notion that the child is simply being imitative is key. 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

More on the effects of violent media

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A worthwhile article whose title is misleading and whose conclusion must be placed in context. The article involves about 200 kids whose media diet is calculated and whose proneness toward aggression is then evaluated through perceptions of their teachers. The conclusion is that kids who watch about 1 hour or less of violent media per day may actually be less violent than the average child, but children who watch three hours or more of violent media not only are more prone to aggression but also likely to perform more poorly in school. Continue reading

Violent media may lead to a lack of empathy

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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

Anything for fame

A short article on an alarming new craze among kids: They light themselves on fire, video themselves douse the flames and post the episode online. The purpose is ostensibly a few minutes of media celebrity. Continue reading

More on the Slenderman stabbing

More on the Slenderman murders. A thoughtful article about the power of fearful stories as old as the Sandman to scare kids and hold them in fear. Yet like so many of the problems facing kids in their encounters with the media, the ubiquity of the media itself is a major part of the problem, rendering my concerns far greater than what they would be if a bunch of kids were simply sitting around a campfire spinning scary yarns. Continue reading

Fictional characters can feed childhood anxiety

One of numerous articles that appeared in the popular press following the stabbing by two girls of a third in Wisconsin, related to the fictional character Slenderman. This article relates a bit of history about how the character was invented and popularized on the website creepypasta. It seems the two girls who committed the stabbing of a friend may have actually believed that Slenderman was real and that they were going to be able to live with him, once they killed the third girl, who was a friend or acquaintance of theirs. Continue reading