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Annu Rev Public Health. 2006;27:393-415.

The role of media violence in violent behavior.

Author information

1
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-1248, USA. huesmann@umich.edu

Abstract

Media violence poses a threat to public health inasmuch as it leads to an increase in real-world violence and aggression. Research shows that fictional television and film violence contribute to both a short-term and a long-term increase in aggression and violence in young viewers. Television news violence also contributes to increased violence, principally in the form of imitative suicides and acts of aggression. Video games are clearly capable of producing an increase in aggression and violence in the short term, although no long-term longitudinal studies capable of demonstrating long-term effects have been conducted. The relationship between media violence and real-world violence and aggression is moderated by the nature of the media content and characteristics of and social influences on the individual exposed to that content. Still, the average overall size of the effect is large enough to place it in the category of known threats to public health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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