Television Viewing Encourage Aggression in Children?
Research conducted by:
Mariana Fernandez, University of Houston-Downtown undergraduate
Case study prepared by: Nichole
How much television
is too much for children? Television advocates espouse the educational
benefits that children may reap from instructive programming. However,
many researchers say that excess television watching may contribute
to aggressive behavior in children. Young boys, in particular may
be susceptible to this effect. What are the effects, if any, on
children’s behavior when television is used as a babysitter?
In a survey of University of Houston-Downtown students, parents
reported their children's age, characteristic behavior, and television
viewing habits. Convenience sampling was used to gather 30 subjects
Questions to Answer
a relationship between hours of television watched and child's obedience?
Will a child be more or less aggressive if he/she watches a lot
This survey offered a very limited sample (N=30), which was further
hindered by reporting participants’ filling out an individual
survey for each individual child. This contributes to some lack
of true variability in responses because participants tended to
report similar behavior for each child. This may magnify errors
associated with self-reported data. The sample would provide greater
reliability if each participant reported on only one child’s
The survey has broad questions which do not provide much context
for reported behaviors. In some instances aggression may be positively
rated, but this survey treats all aggression as a negative characteristic.
In addition, the instrument itself measures largely nominal data,
making in depth analyses difficult.
Descriptions of Variables
||Total number of TV hours watched per day
||How obedient the child is
1 = very obedient, 5 = not obedient
||Attitude while playing with other children
1 = non-aggressive, 5 = very aggressive
Boyatzis, Chris J. and Matillo Gina M.
(1995). Effects of "The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"
on Children's Aggression with Peers. Child Study Journal,
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Charlton, Davie. (2001). Monitoring Children's
Behavior in Remote Community Before and Six Years After
the Availability of Broadcast TV. North America Journal
of Psychology, 3, 429-441.
Huesmann, Rowell L., Moise-Titus, Jessica,
Podolski, Cheryl-Lynn, Eron, Leonard D. (2003). Longitudinal
Relations Between Children's Exposure to TV Violence and
their Aggressive and Violent Behavior in Young Adulthood:
1977-1992. Developmental Psychology 39(2), 201-221.
L. (2003). TV Guide: Two-Year-Old Children Learn to Use
Video as a Source of Information. Developmental Psychology
39 (1), 140-150.
Morphin' Power Rangers v. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- How many hours a day on average that each child watches
television? What is the range of television hours watched?
- In computing the mean hours watched, were there any
apparent outliers? What effect might this have on the
mean hours watched?
- Recompute the mean without the outlier(s).
- What is the overall correlation between the numbers
of hours of TVhours watched and the obedience? What is
the correlation between TV hours watched and attitude?
- Describe the relationships indicated in question 4.
Are either of these correlations statistically significant?
- Do a simple frequency count on attitude. What fundamental
problem does this data present for the hypothesis? What
sampling changes could be made to better test the hypothesis
that “children who watch more TV are more aggressive?”