Hennigan, K., Heath, L., et al. (1982). Impact of the introduction of television on crime in the United States: Empirical findings and theoretical implications. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42 (3), 461-477.

Abstract:  Examined the causal impact of the introduction of TV on FBI indicators of violent crime, burglary, auto theft, and larceny, using an interrupted time-series design with switching replications. No consistent effect of TV’s introduction was observed for violent crimes, burglary, or auto theft. However, the introduction of TV was consistently associated with increases in larceny, irrespective of whether it was introduced in 1951 or 1955, or whether state- or city-level data were examined. Analyses of the early content of TV indicate that the advertising of consumption goods was high, that upper- and middle-class lifestyles were overwhelmingly portrayed, and that larceny was portrayed much less often than crimes of violence. The effect of TV on larceny is therefore attributed to factors associated with viewing high levels of consumption, such as relative deprivation and frustration, rather than to factors associated with the social learning of larceny through viewing it on TV. (49 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)