Double Dose: High Family Conflict Enhances the Effect of Media Violence Exposure on Adolescentsâ€™ Aggression
We investigated how exposure to media violence and family conflict affects adolescentsâ€™ subsequent aggressive behavior. We expected a double dose effect, meaning that high media violence exposure would lead to higher levels of aggression for adolescents in high conflict families compared to low conflict families. A total of 499 adolescents (aged 10 to 14, 48% girls) participated in a two-wave longitudinal survey (4-month interval). Survey questions assessed their exposure to violence on television and in electronic games, family conflict, and aggressive behavior. Analyses revealed a significant interaction between media violence and family conflict. In families with higher conflict, higher media violence exposure was related to increased subsequent aggression. This study is the first to show a double dose effect of media violence and family conflict on adolescentsâ€™ aggression. These findings underscore the important role of the family in shaping the effects of adolescentsâ€™ media use on their social development.
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