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The effects of childhood aggression and exposure to media violence on adult behaviors, attitudes, and mood:  Evidence from a 15-year cross national longitudinal study
Organizer: L. Rowell Huesmann
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

In this symposium we provide evidence on the long-term consequences of childhood aggression and media violence viewing on adult behavior, attitudes, and mood from four parallel 15-year longitudinal studies conducted in the USA, Finland, Poland, and Israel between the late 1970s and the early 1990s.  The results vary across the countries, but they clearly reveal the adult aggression, beliefs about aggression, political attitudes, and moods are influenced by early childhood factors related to aggression including exposure to media violence.




The prediction of young adult aggression in the 1990s from childhood exposure to violence in the 1970s: Gender differences and moderating factors for USA youth
L. Rowell Huesmann and Jessica F. Moise (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI)
Cheryl-Lynn Podolski (Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI)
Leonard D. Eron (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI)
To investigate the long term effects of childhood exposure to media violence, follow-up data were collected in the 1990s on a sample of 398 USA youth in their early 20s who had previously been tested and interviewed when children in the 1970s. The follow-up data revealed that frequent childhood observation of media violence predicts young adult aggressive behavior for both males and females independently of SES or IQ.  This relation is enhanced for males who believe TV violence is realistic or identify with aggressive characters. (back to top)

Cross-sectional and longitudinal connections between exposure to TV viewing and aggressive behavior
Vappu Viemerö, and Runar Olafsen (Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland)
Kirsti Lagerspetz (University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Originally 220 Finnish children took part in a cross-cultural follow-up study on the relationships between TV-viewing and aggressive behavior. The three first waves were conducted in 1978-1980 and the fourth wave in 1993. There were cross-sectional correlations between TV-viewing and aggression in childhood but not in young adulthood. The results confirmed that aggressive behavior in early adulthood is predicted by childhood TV-violence viewing. Violence viewing in adulthood could not be predicted by early aggressive behavior. (back to top)

Political attitudes of Kibbutz- and city-raised young Israeli adults: The effects of exposure to violence in childhood and socialization on adult behaviors and attitudes
Simha Landau (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel)
Riva Bachrach (Beit Berl University, Kefar Sava, Israel)
Kibbutz and City respondents tested during childhood in a study examining the relationship between exposure to TV violence and aggressive behavior were interviewed again, in their early twenties, after their compulsory military service.  The follow-up reveals relations between adult political activism, political attitudes, normative beliefs about aggression, and authoritarianism, and a number of behavioral and personality variables in childhood and early adulthood (TV exposure, gender identification, personal well-being). (back to top)

TV violence viewing and aggression in childhood versus psychosocial functioning in young adults
Adam Fraczek (University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)
Dorota Lubanska (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)
Marek Zwolinski (Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland)
The presentation is aimed at exploration of relationship between a child TV viewing habits and his interpersonal aggression on one hand, and manifestations of well-being in young adults, on the other. In 1979-81 two cohorts of children were studied and 50%  Ss., of original sample participated in a follow-up studies fourteen years later. It was shown that: in young adults level of aggressiveness  is not related to their TV preferences but is strongly correlated with another indices of problem behaviors; relationships between childhood variables such as TV violence viewing, peer-rated aggression are different in subsample of girl/women and boys/man. (back to top)