Washington

'Common Sense' Suggestions for Violence Studies

Group says current studies are woefully lacking, particularly on online impact 2/14/2013 11:27:47 AM Eastern

Common Sense Media has recommendations for how the
government studies the relationship between violent media and real-life
violence, which it based on an analysis of the existing research into children
and media, which it finds wanting. The group says that survey has been shared
with legislators and industry.

Common Sense says that the current research into children
and teenagers' violent media exposure is out of date and incomplete, including
almost no data on online exposure. But it says the research that is available
"allows us to think about violent media as a 'risk factor' to violence -- one
variable among many that increases the risk of violent behavior among some
children."

Common Sense's recommendations for filling in the research
"gaps" are:

  • "Monitoring children's cumulative exposure to violence
    across multiple forms of media, including movies/video, advertising, music,
    social media, and other online venues;

  • "Longitudinal studies that include the most current media -- especially the
    ultra-violent first-person shooter games, and the latest movies and television
    shows;
  • "Studies that both pay attention to and control for the multiple additional
    risk factors and variables that potentially influence violent behavior,
    including trait aggression and family violence; and
  • "Additional and more current studies about children's exposure to violence in
    the advertisements they see each day on television, while streaming content,
    and in other new media venues."

According to the group, it shared the research with the
media industry as well as Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), other members of
Congress, the Centers for Disease Control, which
has been tasked by the Obama Administration with conducting new violence
studies
, the National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of
Sciences, which will be tasked with conducting studies if a
bill proposed by Sen. Rockefeller passes into law.

Common Sense focuses on content-control technologies to help
parents help their kids navigate a crowded and complicated media landscape. It
provides content reviews and recommendations to a laundry
list of top media companies
, including Comcast, Time Warner, and Cox,
Disney, Netflix and Tribune. FCC chairman Genachowski is a founding board
member of the group.

March