Kolbeins, G.H. (2003). Children see, children do: The effects of the home environment on Icelandic adolescent’ viewing of violent and non-violent television programs and the effects of violence viewing on their antisocial behavior. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin at Madison). Dissertation Abstracts International, 64 (5-A), 1449.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was threefold. Firstly, to examine how the relationship between adolescents and their parents, as measured on family cohesion and family tension/violence, affects the adolescents‘ motives for viewing non-violent and violent television programs, and secondly, how this same relationship affects the adolescents‘ viewing of television genres. Thirdly, this study attempted to investigate whether there is a positive relationship between Icelandic adolescents‘ viewing of television violence and their aggressive and delinquent behavior while controlling for the influences of the family. Questionnaires were administered to 7th through 10th graders in the Reykjavik-metropolitan area in Iceland. Based on earlier research on adolescents‘ gratifications of television and the effects of the family on adolescents‘ media use, it was expected that adolescents from cohesive families would watch television for family/information reasons. This was supported. It was also found that when there is a lack of cohesion and increased family tension, adolescents are more likely to watch television out of habit and for relaxation. Moreover, it appears that family tension/violence and lack of cohesion make girls, but not boys, more likely to look to television for companionship and excitement. The worse the family environment, the more likely the adolescents were to watch television violence for enjoyment reasons. Moreover, girls were more likely to watch violence for escape reasons when they came from a low quality family environment. After factor analyzing the various viewing genres, it was found that family cohesion and family tension/violence predicted the adolescents‘ viewing of children and family shows and sports/news/music videos, but only girls’ viewing of news, and violence and erotica. The family environment did not seem to influence the viewing of drama. Finally, the findings of this study provided one more piece of evidence for the positive relationship between adolescents‘ viewing of television violence and their delinquent behavior. It is clear that the family is an important factor in influencing adolescents‘ gratifications from television and their viewing of the different genres, but even when the family environment is controlled for, a positive relationship between adolescents‘ viewing of television violence and aggressive/delinquent behavior is still found. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)