Parent Well in our Digital World – Straight Facts About Media Violence
Part One: Guest Interview
Gloria, founder of The Parent Coaching Institute (PCI) and author of Parenting Well in a Media Age, talks with Dr. Craig Anderson, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University. Dr. Anderson joined the Iowa State University faculty in 1999, as Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology. In 2004, he was presented with the “Iowa State University Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research.” In 2005, he was awarded the title “Distinguished Professor,” the highest faculty honor given by Iowa State University. Dr. Anderson is considered a leading scholar on aggression, violent personality and media violence. His seminal research on media violence, violent video games and aggression has made a major impact on public policy at local, state, national and international levels. He is the author or co-author of several books and numerous research publications. For a complete list and important resources please see Dr. Anderson’s bio here.
The depictions of graphic, sensational violence keeps escalating on TV, in movies, and in popular video games while scientific evidence demonstrates that screen violence harms kids. In fact, there is clearly undeniable evidence that media violence contributes to aggression and desensitization. Yet, confusion and ambivalence still reign—preventing us as individuals and collectively, from taking effective actions.
Violent video games remain popular choices for children and teens. Dr. Anderson’s research regarding violent video games shows consistent findings worldwide:
“We can now say with utmost confidence that regardless of research method—that is experimental, correlational, or longitudinal—and regardless of the cultures tested in this study [East and West], you get the same effects. And the effects are that exposure to violent video games increases the likelihood of aggressive behavior in both short-term and long-term contexts. Such exposure also increases aggressive thinking and aggressive affect, and decreases pro-social behavior.” Craig Anderson
In this podcast, Dr. Anderson lays out the evidence that the debate is over. “From a public policy standpoint, it’s time to get off the question of, ‘Are there real and serious effects?’ That’s been answered and answered repeatedly,” Anderson said. “It’s now time to move on to a more constructive question like, ‘How do we make it easier for parents—within the limits of culture, society and law—to provide a healthier childhood for their kids?’”
Here parents will find practical ideas for protecting kids form the harmful effects of media violence, along with ways to use media to teach pro-social values. Tune in for a wealth of information from a leading scholar in the field!
Parent Two: The Parent Coaching Corner™
The Parent Coaching Corner will resume with the January 13, 2014 podcast.