On-Screen Violence Negatively Impacts Children's Mental Health, Study Finds

On-screen violence is a problem for parents. Many try to shield children from reports of terrorism and war, attempting to lessen youthful exposure to the most painful parts of the human experience. But as more stories of violence saturate the news cycle, it becomes more difficult to shield kids from the scariest stories. Unfortunately, science backs the idea that exposure to on-screen violence negatively impacts children's mental health, CNN reported.

Experiencing violent events, even through a computer or TV screen, affects both kids and adults; but according to CNN, there's a more severe, longer-term impact on kids. The study on violent media cited by CNN found that exposure to disturbing on-screen images can lead to changes in aggression, both in thoughts and behavior. Students who earn high scores on standardized tests seem to be even more susceptible to the influence of violent media on behavior and cognition, CNN reported. In one study designed to test the verbal ability of kids before and after exposure to a violent television show, kids who scores in the 98th percentile or above on an "intelligence scale" showed greater sensitivity to the violent material than those who ranked lower on the scale.

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