skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 207731 Find in a Library
Title: Does Viewing Violent Media Really Cause Criminal Violence?: A Methodological Review
Journal: Aggression and Violent Behavior  Volume:10  Issue:1  Dated:November-December 2004  Pages:99-128
Author(s): Joanne Savage
Editor(s): Vincent B. Van Hasselt; Michel Hersen
Date Published: November 2004
Page Count: 30
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper provides a review of all published studies, in English, that examine the effects of viewing television and film violence on criminal behavior.
Abstract: This review is organized by study methodology starting with aggregate-level studies (cross-sectional and longitudinal), followed by individual-level studies (experimental and quasi-experimental), and ending with correlational studies and prospective longitudinal studies. The criteria for evaluating studies organized by study type are summarized in table format. The criteria are based on contemporary standards of research in criminology and criminal justice and knowledge gained from reviewing several decades of television and media research. Each study was evaluated based on the set of appropriate criteria, with more detail given on the specific methodological criteria sought for that particular study type. The review found that there were only two cross-sectional studies and four longitudinal studies that have attempted to evaluate whether television viewing or violence viewing affects crime rates at the aggregate level. For individual-level studies, the review found 12 studies comparing groups in an experimental or quasi-experimental setting. Approximately four to five of the studies suggest that watching violent television or films is associated with “violent” or analogous behavior, yet five of the studies found no effect of violence exposure, and four suggest a negative effect, that children who watched the control television programs were more violent than those who watched the violent program. A review of the prospective longitudinal studies found that evidence for an effect on criminal behavior is practically nonexistent and the evidence for an effect on aggression is very weak at best. Recommendations are made for future research. References and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Media-crime relationships
Index Term(s): Aggression; Hyperactive children; Juveniles; Media violence; Problem behavior; Television programming; Violence on television; Violent video games
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.