Understanding the effect of violence on children's behaviour
Children are exposed to many forms of media such as television, film, internet, computer games etc. This can provide a wealth of positive learning opportunities but also a level of risk such as exposure to violence and other inappropriate content. This information details the findings of important research into the effects of violence on childrens behaviour.
Learning from watching
As suggested by Oates (2012) it is widely accepted that people learn from watching. Have you ever taken an aeroplane flight and been shown a safety demonstration by the air stewards, or started a new job and undergone training etc - the expectation is that we will later copy what we have been shown. Therefore how might seeing violent behaviour impact on a child?
Research into the effects of violence on children's behaviour
Oates (2012) describes how in 1963 a team of Psychologists conducted a groundbreaking study into the effects of violence on childrens behaviour. It was the first of it's kind and became known as the 'Bobo Doll' study. It involved 96 children aged between 3-6 years, who were split equally into four groups. The children were matched in terms of how aggressive they were generally. Three of the groups were exposed to aggressive behaviour, with one group not shown any violence. The aggressive behaviour shown by each of the violent 'models' toward the inflated doll was the same throughout (i.e. aggressive language such as 'kick him' or 'knock him down', sitting on the doll, punching with fists and hitting it with a mallet.)
Group 1 - Saw a real person in the same room behaving aggressively toward an inflated doll
Group 2 - Saw a film of a real person behaving aggressively toward an inflated doll
Group 3 - Saw a film of a cartoon/fantasy character behaving aggressively toward an inflated doll
Group 4 - Not shown anything at all
Afterwards each child was taken to a separate room with...