Nader, K. (2010). Children’s and adolescents’ exposure to the mass violence of war and terrorism: Role of the media. In N. Webb (Ed.) , Helping bereaved children: A handbook for practitioners (3rd ed.) (pp. 215-239). New York, NY US: Guilford Press.
(from the chapter) This chapter discusses the negative effects youth suffer from due to repeated media-exposure to mass violence, such as war. Evidence suggests that people with direct exposure to and/or perceived life threat from a mass violent event are those who most commonly report posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other post-trauma symptoms. In addition to direct exposures, prolonged and/or repeated TV watching of traumatic events, or disturbing images related to these events, has been linked in youth to PTSD and other symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and grief. Media depictions of fictional and actual violence influence youth in a variety of ways. Repeated exposure to TV, movie, and videogame violence has been linked to aggression, including mass killings. The journalists and others who interview youth and publish their interviews via TV or printed media following mass traumatic events may either help or exacerbate youth’s post-trauma reactions. TV, newspaper, and other media can assist by providing useful information and helping to gather resources and other information. Youth watch TV displays of traumatic events for a number of reasons. Differences in these reasons may be important to treatment. Studies have confirmed for a variety of events the symptomatic impact of viewing violent and other traumatic events on TV. Youth of all ages may have symptoms after media exposure. Media exposure has been linked to increased symptoms for youth directly exposed to a traumatic event and for those with only media exposures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)