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J Natl Med Assoc. 2002 Sep;94(9):797-801.

Media influences on children and adolescents: violence and sex.

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  • 1Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA.


The portrayal of violence, sex, and drugs/alcohol in the media has been known to adversely affect the behavior of children and adolescents. There is a strong association between perceptions of media messages and observed behavior, especially with children. Lately, there has been more of a focus in the public health/medical field on media influences of youth and the role of the pediatrician and/or healthcare worker in addressing this area of growing concern. There is a need to explicitly explore the influences of media violence, sex, and drugs/alcohol on youth within the context of the Social Learning Theory. Implications of these influences are discussed, and recommendations for pediatricians and/or health care workers who interact with children and adolescents are described. Pediatricians and health care workers should incorporate media exposure probes into the developmental history of their patients and become knowledgeable about the effects of medial influences on youth.

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