Exposure To Violence And The Social Cognitive Effects On Children Human Growth And Development Research Paper

2849 words - 12 pages

Exposure to Violence and the Social-Cognitive Effects on Children 1
Exposure to Violence and the Social-Cognitive Effects on Children
Drew Shapiro
Manchester Community College
Exposure to Violence and the Social-Cognitive Effects on Children
Today’s children are the future of tomorrow. Exposing our children to violence, whether it is on TV or in home violence can severely alter their social-cognitive development, as they grow older into adolescence. America today seems to have, in a way, normalized the idea of violence and a lot of this has to do with television and media. This normalization is causing Americans to become desensitized to several different types of violence and this desensitization has caused parents to become careless with the exposure of their children to such violence. As a child grows older, their brain is developing is a variety of different ways. The different environment a child is exposed to have a major effect on how the child’s brain develops through the years. Exposure to violence throughout a child’s life can cause serious social-cognitive processing problems and lead to a greater chance of violence later into adulthood.
A study conducted by the University of Jaen in Spain in 2016, looked at the relationship between exposure to violence and its connection with social-cognitive processing in the adolescent. The study was conduced by researchers Lourdes Contreras and Maria Del Carmen Cano and focused on adolescents who are violent and the relationship to their childhood causes of this violence. This article stated that exposure to violence at a young age can encourage child-to-parent violence as they progress through their life. This child-to-parent violence can take form as physical, psychological, and financial abuse. The study took 90 offenders, 60 of them were recruited from the Juvenile Justice Service of Jaen, and the other 30 were offenders reported by their parents. The results of the study showed that children who grew up in a violent household are much more likely to become violent themselves (Contreras & Cano 2016). It was hypothesized that due to the theory of observational learning and role model imitation, children pick up these violent habits from observing their surroundings, parents, community, and television. Children who sit back and watch their parents be violent towards each other and/or are exposed to violence towards themselves by their parents create the idea in their head that these actions are normal and get into the habit of expressing themselves in violent ways. Mother-to-child aggression is one of the biggest precursors for the development of violent habits. The study also showed that there was a significant increase in violent offenders who were exposed to violent television at a young age. This can be explained by the theory of imitating role models (Contreras & Cano 2016). These children admire these characters and strive to be like them when they are older. Contreras and Cano a...


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