The findings from 20 field experiments were examined to determine the short-term effects of viewing aggression-laden television shows on child social behavior. The available literature provides little support for an effect that is peculiar to aggressive content. In fact, although almost all studies showed elevated levels of antisocial behavior following the viewing of similar material, they also revealed similar, and sometimes greater, effects in response to low or nonaggressive fare. These findings are discussed with regard to their clinical relevance for preventive medicine and implications for imposing "wholesome" television programming on child viewers.
- Received July 13, 1987.
- Accepted April 12, 1988.
- Copyright © 1989 by the American Academy of Pediatrics