Does exposure to violent movies or video games make kids more aggressive?
Although experts agree that no single factor can cause a nonviolent person to act aggressively, some studies (though not all) suggest that heavy exposure to violent media can be a risk factor for violent behavior. Children who are exposed to multiple risk factors -- including substance abuse, aggression, and conflict at home -- and also consume violent media are more likely to behave aggressively.
While exposure to violent media is only one of several risk factors, it is one that parents have control over. As parents, we can make a choice to consistently expose our kids to media that reflects our own personal values and say "no" to the stuff that doesn't. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends Common Sense Media as a resource to guide media selections.
There are so many great benefits to media and technology, including the potential to teach valuable skills. Doing research about TV shows, movies, or games before your kids watch, play, and interact with them will go a long way in helping them avoid the bad stuff.