Violent Movies, Violent Kids: Some Researchers Question the Claims

by Leigh Ann Otte

Media violence often leads to real-world violence in children and teens. Right? After all, both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics say so.

Yet many people still aren’t convinced—including some psychologists and researchers. Jonathan L. Freedman, author of  Media Violence and Its Effect on Aggression, has said study results are “overstated.” And associate professor Christopher J. Ferguson, Ph.D., of Texas A&M International University, says he’s found that family situations and a child’s personality are usually to blame, not the media.

We decided to host a written debate on the topic, so you could see what each side contends and decide for yourself. We asked Dr. Ferguson to argue his side against psychologist Keith D. Kanner, Ph.D., who believes the studies clearly indicate a connection. Here’s what they had to say.

What do you think? You can chime in at the end of the article or under this blog post.

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Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a freelance health writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

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