The Big Question

Does watching TV make children more aggressive?

Kierra Box – Young people’s activist
Responsibility lies with adults, not to shield the children from aggressive characterisation, but to ensure they realise the roles they adopt during play are fictional. Children should be helped to understand that this behaviour is dysfunctional. Acting out violent roles is not the same as viewing the characters as role models.

Kerry Evans – Parent of two autistic children
Children are influenced by their environment, whether that is parents, teachers, friends, films, books or TV. If a child watches too much TV with poor role models then it will detrimentally affect their development. Parents should ensure that good, sociable behaviour is encouraged.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
Children copy lots of different types of behaviour from characters they see on TV and film – some good, some bad, but most often in a “play” sense. Children who copy TV “bullies” are normally those children whose nature tends towards bullying anyway.  These children don’t become bullies as a result of copying TV “hard nuts”.

Richard West – Inspired Services
The soaps are violent and children and even families copy them. Children should not be watching violence and arguing in prime time. The government should be stricter about what is shown between 7pm and 9pm. Parents must know what their children are watching and the effect it could have on them. I also worry about TV’s portrayal of disabled people.

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