Television Violence: Content, Context, and Consequences
By Amy Aidman

This digest reports recent findings on violent television content, highlights the recently developed television ratings system, and offers suggestions for parental mediation of children's television viewing. The National Television Violence Study has demonstrated that not all violence is equal. Certain plot elements in portrayals of violence are considered high risk for children and should be evaluated by parents. Characterizations in which the perpetrator is attractive are especially problematic because viewers may identify with such a character. Other highrisk factors include showing violence as being justified, going unpunished, and having minimal consequences to the victim. Realistic violence is also among the highrisk plot elements. Based on reviews of social science research, it is possible to predict some effects of violent viewing in conjunction with specific plot elements.