Martins, N., & Wilson, B. J. (2012). Mean on the screen: Social aggression in programs popular with children. Journal Of Communication, 62(6), 991-1009. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01599.x

A content analysis was conducted to examine the portrayal of social aggression in the 50 most popular television programs among 2- to 11-year-old children. Results revealed that 92% of the programs in the sample contained some social aggression. On average, there were 14 different incidents of social aggression per hour in these shows, or one every 4 minutes. Compared to the portrayals of physical aggression, social aggression was more likely to be enacted by an attractive perpetrator, to be featured in a humorous context, and neither rewarded or punished. In these ways, social aggression on television poses more of a risk for imitation and learning than do portrayals of physical aggression. Findings are discussed in terms of social cognitive theory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)