American Psychological Association

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Impact of Media on Children


  • Can lead to aggressive behavior
  • Can terrify children
  • Provides violent heroes to imitate
  • Shows that violence is OK
  • Less use of imagination
  • Less direct contact with other persons
  • Less pretend play

Video Games

  • “Fight” or “flight” response to stress
  • Adrenaline-fueled body
  • Hypervigilant children
  • Excitement leads to stress, feeling of burn-out
  • Emotional shutdown
  • Reaction without thinking
  • No high level of thinking


  • Lose sense of safety
  • Lose sense of emotional, social well-being
  • Don’t understand the logic, motives of what is shown
  • Focus on most salient aspects of what is seen or heard
  • Relate what they see and hear to what they know