Popular video games, TV shows, films and even comic books are making our children violent and aggressive, a new study has found.
The International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) conducted a major study into the link between television, films, illustrated books and video games and anti-social behaviour.
They concluded that people who consume violent media are far more likely to behave aggressively, mimicking what they see on screen.
Violent media can also act as a trigger for pre-existing aggressive thoughts and feelings that otherwise would have remained dormant.
Further to this, people who viewed violent TV, video games or films were more likely to react aggressively to perceived slights that would not provoke other people.
"One may become more vigilant for hostility and aggression in the world, and therefore, begin to feel some ambiguous actions by others, such as being bumped in a crowded room, are deliberate acts of provocation," the report said.
Children are particularly susceptible to violent images, so the ISRA report recommends parents limit their access to any hostile media wherever possible.
They should also take time to talk to their kids about what they are seeing, and teach them about the consequences of aggression and violence in the real world.
"Parents can set limits on screen use, and should discuss media content with their children to promote critical thinking when viewing," the researchers wrote.
"Schools may help parents by teaching students from an early age to be critical consumers of the media and that, just like food, the 'you are what you eat' principle applies to healthy media consumption."
The study was published in the journalAggressive Behaviour.
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