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Elementary School Kids: The Television/ Bullying Connection

A University of Washington Assistant Professor, Dr. Frederick Zimmerman, is publishing research regarding the connection between television viewing and an increase in bullying amongst elementary school age kids. According to Dr. Zimmerman, parents should strongly be urged to follow American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. Part of these guidelines state that children under two years of age should not watch television. Dr. Zimmerman notes that the more time a child watches television, the greater the increase in bullying-like behavior.

From Mary Rettig, of Agape Press

"Cartoons contain an enormous amount of violence, and this is something that has concerned experts in the area for long time," he says. "And the same could be said for feature-length animated films -- they also contain a lot of violence."

""One of the interesting things that we found was that the effect was fairly large. If you look at the difference between children who watched no TV versus children who watched the typical amount of TV -- which in our sample was about 3 and a half hours per day -- there was about a 25 percent increased risk associated with that difference."

Also, the researcher observes, cartoons and animated features tend to contain "a lot of disrespectful language. And one of the features of bullying that's so salient is that it often begins with teasing and taunting." For this reason, he advises parents to be aware of the amount and type of material their children watch.


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