Children’s Television & Social Aggression

In April of this year a study was released showing that American kids are exposed to four hours of TV per day. There has been for some time growing evidence that large amounts of exposure to media in general has it consequences, and now even TV as background noise is shown as detrimental to the development in young children of cognitive and reading related tasks. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages children under the age of two from watching television at all and limiting over the age of two to no more than one to two hours per day.

Now in the Journal of Communication it is being reported that when 50 of children’s most popular programs have been analyzed it has been found that 92% of them contain some version of social aggression, bullying. This is the relational kind – including gossiping and manipulation of friendship. It was found that the perpetrators of this kind of aggression were rarely ‘punished’ or called out for their behavior and it was more likely to be presented in a humorous manner than physical bullying.

Is it possible that along with all the other influences that our children have that they are being socialized and taught what is acceptable socially by characters on TV, without parent recognition of what they are taking in?

Now personally, I could not name the top 50 children’s shows on TV. But if you have a young child, could you tell me what the shows are and if you recognize social aggression being displayed on them?