Social aggression rampant in kids' TV shows: Study

(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 2:34 PM ET

Social aggression is rampant in television aimed at young children, a new study suggests - and the perpetrators of on-screen social bullying are rarely punished for their behaviour.

Researchers analyzed 50 of the most popular children's shows viewed by kids aged 2 to 11 for the study published in the Journal of Communication.

They found that an overwhelming majority - 92% - of the 150 episodes analyzed contained behaviour such as mean gossiping and friendship manipulation. The shows contained such instances about 14 times per hour.

The study also found that when attractive characters were the perpetrators of social aggression, they were rarely punished. Socially aggressive scenes were "significantly more likely" than physically aggressive scenes to be presented in a humorous way, the study found.

"These findings should help parents and educators recognize that there are socially aggressive behaviours on programs children watch," study co-author Nicole Martins said in a release. "Parents should not assume that a program is okay for their child to watch simply because it does not contain physical violence. Parents should be more aware of portrayals that may not be explicitly violent in a physical sense but are nonetheless antisocial in nature."


Videos

Photos