Jensen, G.F. (2001). The invention of television as a cause of homicide: The reification of a spurious relationship. Homicide Studies: An Interdisciplinary and International Journal, 5 (2), 114-130.
Abstract: Analyzed the relationship between violence, homicide rates and TV. A study cited by medical associations as a guide for warning parents about the pernicious effects of TV is B. Centerwall’s (1992) analysis of the effect of the invention and distribution of TV on homicide rates. Centerwall claims that the introduction of TV substantially increased homicide rates in the US and Canada and that they remained relatively stable in South Africa until the ban on TV was lifted. The current author reports the results of a multivariate time-series analysis testing the alternative hypothesis that relationships involving primary groups are more important for understanding variations in homicide over time than the spread of TV in a society. This hypothesis is supported in all 3 societies, with the significant positive effect of TV reduced to insignificance after incorporating marriage-divorce ratios, divorce rates, and other variables. These findings are seen to constitute a serious challenge to Centerwall’s thesis, but continue to support traditional sociological perspectives. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved