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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 19 shooters in secondary school attacks have had a record of overt prior aggression against classmates, though their journals, Web sites, etc. suggest considerable aggressiveness in their thoughts and feelings. Likewise, if aggressive tendencies are reinforced into adulthood, there is ample opportunity for physically unintimidating individuals to enact violence against spouses and children. Another distinctive aspect of the present study is the focus on adolescents, rather than children. As Anderson and Bushman (2002) note, relatively few of the many studies on media violence have examined the effects of media violence on youth of an age to more destructively enact aggressive feelings. Similarly, television violence has been the traditional focus of media violence studies. However, adolescence is increasingly characterized by the use of interactive media such as computers, video games, and in particular the Internet. Violent films with PG-13 and R ratings (traditionally targeted at adolescent and young adult males) become increasingly popular pastimes. The evidence from this study that use of violent content from such media is prospectively related to subsequent increases in aggressiveness should increase attention to the impact of such media on teens and young adults. Finally, the implications of a negative feedback-loop model, if supported through subsequent research, deserve close attention. Defenders of violent content in various media often argue that use of such content is a harmless pastime for normal youth. A negative feedback-loop model suggests that while the negative effects may be slight for youth with little inclination to aggressiveness, such youth are also less likely to extensively use such media content. Those youth with such a predisposition are likely to

Authors: Slater, Michael., Swaim, Randall. and Anderson, Lori.
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A negative feedback-loop model page 19
shooters in secondary school attacks have had a record of overt prior aggression against
classmates, though their journals, Web sites, etc. suggest considerable aggressiveness in
their thoughts and feelings. Likewise, if aggressive tendencies are reinforced into
adulthood, there is ample opportunity for physically unintimidating individuals to enact
violence against spouses and children.
Another distinctive aspect of the present study is the focus on adolescents, rather
than children. As Anderson and Bushman (2002) note, relatively few of the many studies
on media violence have examined the effects of media violence on youth of an age to
more destructively enact aggressive feelings. Similarly, television violence has been the
traditional focus of media violence studies. However, adolescence is increasingly
characterized by the use of interactive media such as computers, video games, and in
particular the Internet. Violent films with PG-13 and R ratings (traditionally targeted at
adolescent and young adult males) become increasingly popular pastimes. The evidence
from this study that use of violent content from such media is prospectively related to
subsequent increases in aggressiveness should increase attention to the impact of such
media on teens and young adults.
Finally, the implications of a negative feedback-loop model, if supported through
subsequent research, deserve close attention. Defenders of violent content in various
media often argue that use of such content is a harmless pastime for normal youth. A
negative feedback-loop model suggests that while the negative effects may be slight for
youth with little inclination to aggressiveness, such youth are also less likely to
extensively use such media content. Those youth with such a predisposition are likely to


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