Studies Reveal Screen Violence Can Be Harmful for Youth

screen violence
With technology today, youth are being exposed to more and more violent and graphic images. Things that use to be considered “R rated” are now being exposed to children who are as young as 7 to 10 years old. Sex, violence, and death are just a few things that were once considered scandalous to see as an adult, that have now become societal norms for all ages. How is this exposure effecting youth today? CNN recently released an article discussing new studies that have found youth’s exposure to screen violence at an early age harmful to their mental health.

Effects of Screen Violence

Screen violence—which includes violence in video games, television shows and movies—has been found to be associated with aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts and angry feelings in children according to a policy statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Discussing the recent news and media on the violent attacks in Nice, France, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Clients’s Research Institute states:
“Screen violence, particularly when it is real but even if it is virtual, is quite traumatic for children regardless of age. It is not uncommon to see increases in nightmares, sleep disturbances and increased general anxiety in the wake of these events.”

Studies on Screen Violence

Dr. Christakis and fellow colleagues have reviewed and summarized dozens of studies about the effects of virtual violence and aggression on children’s attitudes and behaviors. They describe virtual violence as a form of screen violence, where youth experience or witness forms of violence on a screen.
Their research has revealed that violent, traumatic events such as the one in Nice, France, often frighten children. After the review, Dr. Christakis and his colleagues urged doctors, parents, and the media industry and policy makers to better prohibit easy access to screen violence for young children.
Dr. Christakis states:
“Parents should be mindful of their children’s media diet and reduce virtual violence especially if their child shows any aggressive tendencies…We know from hundreds of studies on thousands of children that there is a link between ‘virtual violence’ and real-world aggression.”
If your child experiences anxiety or becomes frighten after being exposed to graphics news or media, there are tools to counteract this.

blueFire Wilderness can help

blueFire is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 11 to 17. Our students often grapple with anxiety, depression, and other emotional or behavioral problems. At blueFire, we strive to help each client succeed.
For more information about blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today!

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