A new study performed over 17 years suggested that increased television viewing is
responsible for violent behavior, and that the causal link between the two is
stronger than even the connection between smoking and developing lung cancer.
Researchers, led by Dr. Jeffrey Johnson of Columbia University, studied 707
people and determined that children who watch more than one hour per day of
television are likely to become violent adults. Specifically, the study found
that 14-year-old boys who watched less than one hour per day were
likely to have gotten into an average of 8.9 fights resulting in injury as young
adults. That number increased to 27.5 if they had watched one to three hours per day
of television, and to 41.7 if they had watched more than three hours per day.
Numbers for females at those ages were much lower, but they increased at similar
"The present findings indicate that extensive television viewing by
adolescents and young adults is associated with an increased likelihood of
committing aggressive acts against others," the study said. "Our findings
suggest that this association is only partially attributable to environmental
characteristics that are associated with both television viewing and aggressive
In response, Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of
Broadcasters, said: "For every study that concludes that there's a correlation
between TV violence and behavior, there are a number of studies concluding just
Marc Smith, spokesman for the National Cable & Telecommunications
Association, said the cable industry provides ratings on its programs, as well as
media-literacy programs to help parents choose what TV programs their kids can
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