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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  28 verbal violence against people, r = -.06, ns, and physical violence against objects, r = .03, ns; N = 84). Within the medium of primetime television, we find the same pattern as in overall media content discussed above (N = 345). The percent of content that contained violence decreased over time (r = -.34, p < .001), whereas the number of physically violent acts that were contained within violent program synopses (r = .55, p < .001), as well as the number of verbally violent acts in the synopses (r = .29, p < .001), increased significantly over time. No such trend was discovered for number of physically violent acts in violent synopses (r = .05, ns). Finally, within the medium of television news (N = 226), the number of physically violent acts against objects included in stories that contained violence has decreased over time (r = -.18, p < .01). The percent of television news content that contained violence (r = .11, p = .088) and the number of physically violent acts against people in violent stories (r = .12, p = .075) approached but did not meet traditional standards for statistical significance. Yet, for both, data were arrayed in the direction of an increase over time. No such pattern was found for the number of acts of verbal violence against people (r = .02, ns). Relationships with External Factors Statistics from the social world were examined to determine whether they correlate with the amount of violence that was measured in the media in order to address RQ2-4. First, the violent content variables—percent of total content that contained violence, number of physically violent acts against people, number of verbally violent acts against people, and number of physically violent acts against objects—were correlated with Uniform Crime Report data from the same years. Results show no significant bivariate correlations between UCR total crime index, rates for violent crime,

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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28
verbal violence against people, r = -.06, ns, and physical violence against objects, r = .03,
ns; N = 84). Within the medium of primetime television, we find the same pattern as in
overall media content discussed above (N = 345). The percent of content that contained
violence decreased over time (r = -.34, p < .001), whereas the number of physically
violent acts that were contained within violent program synopses (r = .55, p < .001), as
well as the number of verbally violent acts in the synopses (r = .29, p < .001), increased
significantly over time. No such trend was discovered for number of physically violent
acts in violent synopses (r = .05, ns). Finally, within the medium of television news (N =
226), the number of physically violent acts against objects included in stories that
contained violence has decreased over time (r = -.18, p < .01). The percent of television
news content that contained violence (r = .11, p = .088) and the number of physically
violent acts against people in violent stories (r = .12, p = .075) approached but did not
meet traditional standards for statistical significance. Yet, for both, data were arrayed in
the direction of an increase over time. No such pattern was found for the number of acts
of verbal violence against people (r = .02, ns).
Relationships with External Factors
Statistics from the social world were examined to determine whether they
correlate with the amount of violence that was measured in the media in order to address
RQ2-4. First, the violent content variables—percent of total content that contained
violence, number of physically violent acts against people, number of verbally violent
acts against people, and number of physically violent acts against objects—were
correlated with Uniform Crime Report data from the same years. Results show no
significant bivariate correlations between UCR total crime index, rates for violent crime,


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