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Violent media content and aggressiveness in adolescents: A negative feedback-loop model
Unformatted Document Text:  A negative feedback-loop model page 18 conspicuous among youth who are most vulnerable to those attitudes and behaviors. In this case, those who are male (less social disinhibition for aggression), angry (more motivation to find aggressiveness an outlet), sensation-seekers (more willing to take risks, act out), or substance users (more willing to engage in socially deviant behavior) may be more subject to these negative feedback-loop effects. The data set in the present analysis was not large enough to permit meaningful sub-sample comparisons. Such comparisons should be a priority for follow-up research. This study also has a variety of limitations. The sample of youth comprised three school districts and six middle or junior high schools. While the districts were widely separated geographically, they were not sampled randomly, they were restricted to non- metropolitan school districts, and there is therefore no basis for statistical generalization to the population. Moreover, while levels of participation in the longitudinal study were reasonably high and study mortality across the two years of the study reasonably low, students did self-select as participants. This is more likely to create a conservative bias, though, as in general more anti-social students are less likely to participate in a study such as this, as they would be less likely to participate in any school-based activity. The use of a composite measure of aggressiveness incorporating rumination about violence and values concerning violence as well as aggressive behavior is also worthy of note. We consider this approach a strength of the present study. Aggressive behavior is, as noted above, constrained circumstantially. A female, or a smaller male, may be less likely to physically attack peers. However, an impact on aggressiveness is still dangerous. If motivation is strong enough and a weapon is available, aggressiveness that has in the past been largely imagined can take very destructive forms. Few of the

Authors: Slater, Michael., Swaim, Randall. and Anderson, Lori.
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A negative feedback-loop model page 18
conspicuous among youth who are most vulnerable to those attitudes and behaviors. In
this case, those who are male (less social disinhibition for aggression), angry (more
motivation to find aggressiveness an outlet), sensation-seekers (more willing to take
risks, act out), or substance users (more willing to engage in socially deviant behavior)
may be more subject to these negative feedback-loop effects. The data set in the present
analysis was not large enough to permit meaningful sub-sample comparisons. Such
comparisons should be a priority for follow-up research.
This study also has a variety of limitations. The sample of youth comprised three
school districts and six middle or junior high schools. While the districts were widely
separated geographically, they were not sampled randomly, they were restricted to non-
metropolitan school districts, and there is therefore no basis for statistical generalization
to the population. Moreover, while levels of participation in the longitudinal study were
reasonably high and study mortality across the two years of the study reasonably low,
students did self-select as participants. This is more likely to create a conservative bias,
though, as in general more anti-social students are less likely to participate in a study
such as this, as they would be less likely to participate in any school-based activity.
The use of a composite measure of aggressiveness incorporating rumination about
violence and values concerning violence as well as aggressive behavior is also worthy of
note. We consider this approach a strength of the present study. Aggressive behavior is,
as noted above, constrained circumstantially. A female, or a smaller male, may be less
likely to physically attack peers. However, an impact on aggressiveness is still
dangerous. If motivation is strong enough and a weapon is available, aggressiveness that
has in the past been largely imagined can take very destructive forms. Few of the


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