Children who witness violence often think it is normal, a development that can lead to violent behavior, says a new study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
The researchers, who surveyed 800 children between the ages of 8 and 12, asked the children if they had witnessed violence on television, at home or at school. Six months later they were polled a second time. Children who said they had witnessed violence were aggressive, according to the study.
“People exposed to a heavy diet of violence come to believe that aggression is a normal way to solve conflict and get what you want in life,” the study’s authors wrote. “These beliefs lower their inhibitions against aggression against others.”
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