Sargent, J.D., Heatherton, T.F., Ahrens, M.B., Dalton, M.A., Tickle, J.J., & Beach, M.L. (2002). Adolescent exposure to extremely violent movies, Journal of Adolescent Health, 31 (6), 449-454.

Abstract: Examined exposure of young adolescents to extremely violent movies. A cross-sectional school-based survey of middle school students at 15 randomly selected New Hampshire and Vermont middle schools was used. Each survey contained a unique list of 50 movies, randomly selected from 603 top box office hits from 1988 to 1999, 51 of which were determined by content analysis to contain extremely violent material. Movie titles only were listed, and adolescents were asked to indicate which ones they had seen. Each movie appeared on approximately 470 surveys. The percentage of students who had seen each movie were calculated for a representative subsample of the student population. Characteristics associated with seeing at least 1 extremely violent movie were also examined. Complete survey information was obtained from 5,456 students (aged 10-14 yrs). On average, extremely violent movies were seen by 28% of the students in the sample. The most popular movie, Scream, was seen by two-thirds of students overall and over 40% of fifth-graders. Other movies with sexualized violent content were seen by many of these adolescents. Older students, males, those of lower SES, and those with poorer school performance were all more likely to have seen at least 1 extremely violent movie. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)