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NCJ Number: 165994 Find in a Library
Title: Movies and Juvenile Delinquency: An Overview (From Exploring Delinquency: Causes and Control, P 256-264, 1996, Dean G Rojek and Gary F Jensen, eds. -- See NCJ-165981)
Author(s): S Snyder
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Roxbury Publishing Co.
Los Angeles, CA 90049-9044
Sale Source: Roxbury Publishing Co.
P.O. Box 491044
Los Angeles, CA 90049-9044
United States of America
Type: Literature Review
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reviews the theories and evidence relevant to the link between movies and delinquency.
Abstract: Two principles of Sutherland's theory of differential association are that delinquent behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication, and the learning of delinquent behavior primarily occurs within intimate personal groups. The principles of social learning theory were first presented by Bandura and Walters in 1963. Their studies demonstrated that modeling is one of the most effective ways to teach children new ways of behaving and their consequences. These theories are relevant to studies that have shown a link between movie portrayals of behavior and the behavior of juvenile viewers. A recent study found that adolescent subjects accepted the behavior of movie characters as moral even if it was violent or antisocial as long as they could identify with the character. In addition, it was easier for the more aggressive viewer to accept the violence of the film actor. In their review of the literature on the effects of media violence on children, Heath et al. (1989) stated that "a small but genuine association appears to exist between media violence and aggression." Studies of the effects of media violence on behavior generally caution, however, that variables such as belief in the reality of the media presentation, predisposition toward violence, an aggressive family environment, identification with aggressive media characters, and how the consequences of aggressive behavior are portrayed may all affect the relationship between media and violence. Some real-life examples of the imitation of movie violence in actual criminal behavior are provided. The paper also discusses the potential for movies to have a prosocial impact on adolescents. Appended recommended films about juvenile delinquency and conduct disorder and 48 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Media violence; Media-crime relationships; Peer influences on behavior; Social Learning; Sutherland's theory; Violence causes
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