The Impact of Media Violence on Adolescent Behavior

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 993 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2020

Words: 993|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Oct 2, 2020

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Influence of Media Violence
  3. The Complexity of Human Behavior
  4. The Role of Regulation and Responsibility
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works Cited


In today's digitally immersed world, where media content is more accessible than ever before, the question of whether media violence causes violent behavior continues to be a topic of intense debate and scrutiny. This essay aims to dissect this complex issue and provide a nuanced understanding of the relationship between media violence and real-life violent behavior. While some argue that exposure to violent media content can influence individuals to act aggressively, others maintain that the link is far from straightforward. This essay will explore the key arguments and evidence surrounding this contentious topic, ultimately seeking to answer the question: Does media violence truly cause violent behavior?

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

The Influence of Media Violence

The influence of media violence on behavior is a subject of considerable research and debate. Studies exploring this relationship often utilize experimental designs where participants are exposed to violent media content, such as video games or movies, and are subsequently evaluated for changes in aggressive behavior. While some research has shown a correlation between exposure to violent media and short-term increases in aggression, it's important to note that this relationship is far from straightforward.

One key aspect to consider is the role of individual differences. Not everyone who consumes violent media becomes aggressive, and the response varies widely among individuals. Some studies have indicated that individuals with preexisting risk factors, such as a history of aggression or impulsivity, may be more susceptible to the influence of media violence. However, these findings should not be interpreted as conclusive proof of causation. Instead, they underscore the complexity of the relationship.

Moreover, the effects of media violence may depend on the type and context of exposure. For example, interactive media like violent video games may have different effects compared to passive media like watching a violent movie. Additionally, the duration and frequency of exposure could play a role in determining the extent of any potential influence on behavior.

The Complexity of Human Behavior

Understanding human behavior is a complex endeavor that involves examining a myriad of factors. While media violence is often singled out as a cause of violent behavior, it is crucial to recognize that violence arises from a web of interconnected elements, including genetics, upbringing, social environment, mental health, and personal experiences.

The genetic component of behavior cannot be overlooked. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to aggression or impulsivity, which can influence their behavior regardless of media exposure. Similarly, upbringing and family dynamics play a pivotal role in shaping a person's values, beliefs, and behaviors. Children raised in environments characterized by violence or neglect are more likely to exhibit aggressive tendencies.

Social factors, such as peer influence and community violence, also contribute significantly to violent behavior. The presence of firearms and easy access to weapons can escalate conflicts and lead to violent outcomes. Mental health issues, including conditions like conduct disorder or antisocial personality disorder, can significantly increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior.

The Role of Regulation and Responsibility

The responsibility for managing exposure to media violence lies not only with individuals but also with society as a whole. Regulatory measures, such as age ratings and content warnings, are intended to guide individuals and parents in making informed choices about media consumption. These measures aim to strike a balance between freedom of expression and the need to protect vulnerable audiences, particularly children.

Parents and caregivers also play a pivotal role in controlling media exposure. Educating parents about the potential impact of violent media on children and adolescents can empower them to make responsible decisions about media consumption within their households. Encouraging open dialogue with children about the content they consume can help parents guide their children toward age-appropriate material.

Furthermore, society should focus on preventive measures that address the root causes of violence. These measures may include poverty alleviation, improved access to mental health services, and community-based interventions to reduce violence. By addressing these underlying issues, society can take a more comprehensive approach to reducing violent behavior.


In conclusion, the relationship between media violence and violent behavior is a multifaceted issue that cannot be reduced to a simple cause-and-effect relationship. While research suggests that exposure to violent media may contribute to short-term increases in aggression, it is just one of many factors that influence human behavior. Understanding and addressing the complexity of violent behavior requires a comprehensive approach that considers genetic, environmental, and societal factors.

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Rather than placing sole blame on media violence, society should focus on implementing responsible media regulation, educating individuals about the potential impact of violent media, and addressing the underlying issues that lead to violent behavior. By adopting a holistic perspective, we can move beyond the oversimplified narrative of media violence as the sole cause of violence and work towards a more informed and effective approach to reducing violent behavior in our society.

Works Cited

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016). Media and Children Communication Toolkit.
  2. American Psychological Association. (2017). Violence in the Media: What Effects on Behavior?
  3. Anderson, C. A., Berkowitz, L., Donnerstein, E., Huesmann, L. R., Johnson, J. D., Linz, D., Malamuth, N. M., & Wartella, E. (2003). The Influence of Media Violence on Youth. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4(3), 81–110.
  4. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (2018). Children and TV Violence.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Media and Children.
  6. Funk, J. B., & Buchman, D. D. (1996). Playing violent video and computer games and adolescent self-concept. Journal of Communication, 46(2), 19–32.
  7. Gabbiadini, A., Riva, P., Andrighetto, L., Volpato, C., & Bushman, B. J. (2016). Interactive effect of moral disengagement and violent video games on self-control, cheating, and aggression. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7(7), 639–647.
  8. Gershoff, E. T., & Hourigan, S. E. (2016). Violent media consumption and the recognition of dynamic facial expressions. Journal of Communication, 66(3), 454–475.
  9. Steinberg, L. (2014). Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence. Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  10. Ward, L. M., Vandenbosch, L., & Eggermont, S. (2015). Exposure to Violent Media: The Effects of Songs with Violent Lyrics. In J. B. Jensen & R. J. Gorham (Eds.), Media and Social Life (pp. 177–192). Routledge.
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The Impact of Media Violence on Adolescent Behavior. (2020, October 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 27, 2024, from
“The Impact of Media Violence on Adolescent Behavior.” GradesFixer, 10 Oct. 2020,
The Impact of Media Violence on Adolescent Behavior. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Feb. 2024].
The Impact of Media Violence on Adolescent Behavior [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Oct 10 [cited 2024 Feb 27]. Available from:
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