Smith, S. L., & Donnerstein, E. (1998). Harmful effects of exposure to media violence: Learning of aggression, emotional desensitization, and fear. In Green, R. G., & Donnerstein, E. (Ed.), Human aggression: Theories, research, and implication for social policy. (pp. 167-202). San Diego, CA: Academic Press, Inc.

Abstract:  (from the chapter) Reviews what is known about the harmful impact of exposure to media violence on children, adolescents, and adults. Individuals’ viewing habits (specifically, how much time adults and children spend watching TV) are examined. The amount of violence on American television is examined. The authors contend that understanding the prevalence of violence across both broadcast and cable channels illustrates the risk that television may be posing to viewers. The theoretical mechanisms that account for the impact of exposure to violence on television are discussed. Contextual features of violence that have been found by empirical research to either increase or decrease the risk of harmful effects on both child and adult viewers are delineated. Possible solutions to mitigating the harmful impact of exposure to television violence are considered. Research on the effectiveness of ratings and advisories, teaching critical viewing skills, and media-initiated educational campaigns is reviewed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)