Media influence on deviant behavior in middle school students

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Adrian D. Pearson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
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Abstract: In recent years, there has been growing concern over the possible influence of aggressive and sexually-explicit media on children and teenagers (Gore, 1987). It is believed that graphic depictions of violence, disrespect of women, and the glamorization of drug use are fostering similar behavior in the school-aged population. This anti-social subject matter is presented in movies, on television (programs and music videos), the internet, in the lyrics of popular music, and in video games. A generation ago, families would not have tolerated the sex and violence presented to children. The questions remains, have the behavior problems of America’s youth increased over the past ten to twenty years? And is there a correlation between an increase in media presentations of sex and violence to children, and an increase in public tolerance or ignorance of graphic adult themes presented to children? This thesis addresses the possible effects of exposure to various forms of violent and anti-social media as a significant factor contributing to anti-social and disruptive behaviors in middle school students in the school setting. The thesis also provides an overview of other factors identified in a review of relevant literature. These factors include lack of familial support, poor self-esteem and external locus of control. In addition, the thesis describes a study conducted with middle school students who have varying disciplinary records. The results of this study indicate that negative media, as a single factor, does not appear to be sufficient to account for anti-social or disruptive behavior of these students at school.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of School Administration
Language: English
Date: 2009
Classroom management, Deviant behavior, Public opinion, School discipline
School discipline
Deviant behavior
Classroom management
Public opinion

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