Bernhart, J.M., Sorenson, J. R., & Brown, J. D. (2001). When the perpetrator gets killed: Effects of observing the death of a handgun user in a televised public service announcement. Health Education and Behavior, 28 (1), 81-94.

Abstract: Examined the cognitive effects of anti-handgun violence public service announcements (PSA) on suburban middle school students. 294 6th-8th grade students (aged 11-15 yrs) viewed PSAs containing or not containing images of the death of an aggressive handgun user, and completed pretest questionnaires concerning demographic characteristics and individual experiences. Ss were presented with hypothetical violent encounter scenarios, and answered questionnaires concerning handgun use outcomes, anxiety, intentions, and self-efficacy. Results show that those Ss viewing a violent death were more likely to report negative expected outcomes for aggressive handgun use, and had lower behavioral intentions to aggressively use handguns. Gender, but not race, significantly predicted aggressive handgun use outcomes and handgun efficacy. Findings suggest that television handgun violence depictions with perpetrator deaths produce lower handgun-encouraging beliefs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)