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Rutgers researcher's study cites media violence as 'critical risk factor' for aggression
Date:11/19/2008

You are what you watch, when it comes to violence in the media and its influence on violent behavior in young people, and a new paper, lead-authored by Rutgers University, Newark, researcher Paul Boxer, provides new evidence that violent media does indeed impact adolescent behavior.

The research, to be published in February/2009 in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, shows that even when other factors are considered, such as academic skills, encounters with community violence, or emotional problems, "childhood and adolescent violent media preferences contributed significantly to the prediction of violence and general aggression" in the study subjects. The study is available online at http://www.springerlink.com/content/4788773215243487/fulltext.html .

Boxer, an assistant professor of psychology at Rutgers University in Newark, has been involved since 2004 in research funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) into media violence and its relation to serious youth violence and criminal behavior. Although a relationship between media violence and violent behavior has been acknowledged for some 40 years, much of the research was usually done in a laboratory setting rather than in the field, with very little emphasis on documenting links between media violence and actual engagement in serious violent and antisocial behavior, explains Boxer.

What's more, many studies did not sufficiently address other influences on the children's behaviors, such as exposure to violent or aggressive behavior at school or in the community, academic difficulties, and psychopathic tendencies or other emotional problems, according to Boxer.

Because violence is a "multiply determined behavior," Boxer and the research team collected data on several risk factors for aggression, to examine whether violent media exposure has an impact on behavior even when those
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Contact: Carla Capizzi
capizzi@andromeda.rutgers.edu
973-363-5262
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

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