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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 9 on prime-time television. Violent video games are believed to be influential on aggression (Anderson & Dill, 2000); violence-oriented Internet content is also associated with aggressiveness (Slater, in press). Use of any one medium may be socially determined. (E.g., girls may report attending violent movies and such attendance may have negative relationship to aggressiveness, possibly because they are attending on dates or group outings with boys [Slater, in press]. Similarly, some boys may report some violent video game use simply as part of hanging out with others.) But use of violent content in combination does suggest a predilection and a seeking-out of such content. Violent media content use was measured with the sum of three items that assessed the frequency of watching action movies, playing computer or video games involving firing a weapon, and visiting Internet sights that describe or recommend violence. Possible responses were on a five point scale (1 = not at all, 5 = very often). Coefficient alpha for the scale was .66. Aggressiveness. Aggressiveness was measured by a series of six items that asked about the extent to which respondents agreed with statements about aggression. These items were measured on a four point scale (1 = not at all, 4 = a lot). The items were theoretically and empirically combined into three subcomponents of aggressiveness: cognition about aggression (having thoughts about hurting teachers or other students), values about aggression (the belief that fighting is okay for settling arguments or getting even), and aggressive behavior (scaring, pushing around, or beating up other students). Reliability (coefficient alpha) for the indices was .80, .93, and .78, respectively. Our original hope was to examine paths to and from each of these indices separately, in order to ascertain whether effects of violent media content were greater on values,

Authors: Slater, Michael., Swaim, Randall. and Anderson, Lori.
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background image
A negative feedback-loop model page 9
on prime-time television.
Violent video games are
believed to be influential on
aggression (Anderson & Dill, 2000); violence-oriented Internet content is also associated
with aggressiveness (Slater, in press). Use of any one medium may be socially
determined. (E.g., girls may report attending violent movies and such attendance may
have negative relationship to aggressiveness, possibly because they are attending on dates
or group outings with boys [Slater, in press]. Similarly, some boys may report some
violent video game use simply as part of hanging out with others.) But use of violent
content in combination does suggest a predilection and a seeking-out of such content.
Violent media content use was measured with the sum of three items that assessed the
frequency of watching action movies, playing computer or video games involving firing a
weapon, and visiting Internet sights that describe or recommend violence. Possible
responses were on a five point scale (1 = not at all, 5 = very often). Coefficient alpha for
the scale was .66.
Aggressiveness. Aggressiveness was measured by a series of six items that asked
about the extent to which respondents agreed with statements about aggression. These
items were measured on a four point scale (1 = not at all, 4 = a lot). The items were
theoretically and empirically combined into three subcomponents of aggressiveness:
cognition about aggression (having thoughts about hurting teachers or other students),
values about aggression (the belief that fighting is okay for settling arguments or getting
even), and aggressive behavior (scaring, pushing around, or beating up other students).
Reliability (coefficient alpha) for the indices was .80, .93, and .78, respectively.
Our original hope was to examine paths to and from each of these indices separately, in
order to ascertain whether effects of violent media content were greater on values,


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