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Aggression, executive function and violent media exposure

The project aims to explore the link between violent media exposure, aggression and executive functioning in greater depth than existing research.

Aggression, executive function and violent media exposure

Researchers

Research background

The research literature has shown a relationship between aggression in childhood and executive function. This link has been shown for aggression both inside and outside the home environment. For example, Medeiros, Torro-Alves, Malloy-Diniz and Minervino (2016) found that children that bullied others had an impairment in their cognitive and emotional processes that were related to decision making, motivation and social cognition. Similarly, Harrison and Bedwell (in prep) found that aggression with siblings in childhood led to difficulties in adulthood decision making.

There are many factors in childhood that can influence this aggression. One of these has been shown to be violent media (Ostrov, Gentile & Crick, 2006). Numerous studies have focused on the link between violent media and aggression, however, our understanding of this concept is still limited (Gentile, Coyne & Walsh, 2011).

Research aims 

This project aims to explore the consequences of violent media and aggression on decision making in school-aged children. This is important to consider given the numerous ways that children experience media today. Asking school-aged children to complete three questionnaires, we hope to explore the link between violent media exposure, aggression and executive functioning in greater depth than existing research.