Impacts of violent adverts to children

 

Violent advertisement in most television commercials have become the most studied media violence forms. The exposure of children to extreme violent television advertisements tends to increase aggressive and violent behavior among them. Studies have shown that even slight exposure of violence on advertisements increase aggression levels and violent behaviors among children. Exposure to violent advertisements increases aggressive thoughts, intolerance, as well as violent emotions in the future.

Huston, A., Watkins, B., & Kunkel, D. (2009). Public policy and children’s television.             American Psychologist, 44, 424-433.

Huston, Watkins & Kunkel, (2009) emphasize that violence in advertisements includes fighting, accidents, and explosions scenes evident in various adverts. An obvious fact is that majority of advertisements are not often rated in accordance to age’ hence, are accessible to children. The past decade has seen an alarming increase of violence incidences among children. Children have witnessed a myriad of violence in advertisements that lead to their violent behaviors according to research (Huston, Watkins & Kunkel, 2009). Children might be less sensitive to the pain or suffering of other people. At the same time, they might become fearful of people around them and are likely to be aggressive towards their peers. Exposure to violence in advertisements makes children consider violence as a normal stress response and an acceptable way of solving conflict.

Carlsson-Paige, N., & Levin, D. (1987). The war play dilemma: Balancing needs and values in the early childhood classroom. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia      University.

Calvin & Levin (2007) believe that majority of early children educators are concerned with the negative impacts of children viewing violent advertisements. This is because of the impacts felt in cognitive as well as language development among children. Research shows that watching of violent advertisements is linked to less creative and more imitated play, where the child mimics aggressive acts in violent adverts. Conversely, various advertisements that regularly depict violence tend to promote less creativity, but imitation of what is observed in the adverts. At the same time, adverts, which depict violence, encourage children to reproduce in their plays actual violent behaviors as evident in the adverts (Calvin & Levin, 2007). In addition, advertisements that depict violence encourage the production of toys, which embrace violence; hence, their imagination and creativity in plays is undermined and robs them the significance of play in their development.

Huesmann, L. (2006). Psychological processes promoting the relation between exposure to     media violence and aggressive behavior by the viewer. Journal of Social Issues., 42,      125-140.

Huesmann (2006) insists that most children imitate the characters who employ violence and get away with their behaviors. The children often rehearse the scripts of the characters without ant reflective and creative thought. In most cases, children who frequently observe aggressive behaviors in adverts, especially in the media often rehearse everything they saw from the media when they are playing and also imitate the behaviors in real life experiences (Huesmann, 2006). This means children who frequently view violent advertisements learn that violence remains the only acceptable means of achieving goals or even solving problems. Children who watch violent advertisements are most likely to benefit less from imaginative plays, which are the natural way to express feelings, anger, or gaining of self-control.

Conclusion

Studies highlight the fact that children of up to eight years of age are not likely to learn a program lesson when advertisements keep on intervening in relation to anti-social acts and their consequences. There should be restrictions in children programs because of the fact that children are unable to recognize and distinguish the advertisements from the content of the program. This will help to prevent violent acts being upheld against their consequences by overriding commercials. Contrary to common belief, watching of television is not a passive activity anymore because many children are mentally involved in television viewing. The usage of the media to be an educational tool needs to be rejected because of the violent adverts, which do not have educational value and promotes violence. At the same time, there is a need for advocating   for guidelines, which eliminates violence in adverts for constructive use of media in relation to children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Carlsson-Paige, N., & Levin, D. (1987). The war play dilemma: Balancing needs and values in the early childhood classroom. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University.

Huesmann, L. (2006). Psychological processes promoting the relation between exposure to media violence and aggressive behavior by the viewer. Journal of Social Issues., 42, 125-140.

Huston, A., Watkins, B., & Kunkel, D. (1989). Public policy and children’s television. American Psychologist, 44, 424-433.


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