BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
For many years,
behavioral and educational researchers have studied the psychological effects
of violent cartoons and other violent television programs on viewers,
particularly children (Krieg, 2003). Children all over the world have been entertained by various
animated films and cartoon shows for over 80 years. Currently, children across
the world are exposed to animated film classics and new cartoon series which
can be seen on cable/satellite channels, such as Boomerang, Cartoon Network,
and The Disney Channel. Violence in cartoons is an
integral part of cartoon content. In fact, frequency of violence in cartoons is
higher than in live-action dramas or comedies (Potter & Warren, 1998). As the result, children are more
exposed to violence showed in the cartoon program than any other television
program broadcasted. Cartoon watching affects the attitude and behavior of
children i.e. their liking and disliking, way of talking, and behaving with
other children. It also has a strong effect on their language and the way of
their dressing and eating. When children watch cartoon character is smoking
they might likely practice it someday. Cartoon related injuries are now
becoming a serious problem, which is now needed to be addressed in the world
today. Due to strong affiliation with these supernatural characters in
cartoons, many children fall prey to some serious injuries (Saturnine, 2004).
Under the guise of “having fun”.
There has been a serious argument among
researcher that children's cartoons are too violent say that these cartoons
will greatly affect these children's behaviors growing up. Violence is a
learned behavior and therefore children need to see violence in order to become
violence themselves (Krieg, 2003). If a child is viewing their favorite
character hitting, kicking, and beating up the "bad guys" a child
will learn these behaviors too. However, according to Siegel (1996), children
also learn how to endure and strength to tackle the evil that has bedeviled the
society when watching their favorite character doing so. And because most of
these cartoons do not show any consequences for these behaviors and in a sense
glorify violence; children think that this is an acceptable form of problem
solving (Benham, 2006). Children also experience other negative effects from
viewing these violent cartoons such as, antisocial behaviors, increased
anxiety, and nightmares containing TV characters (Chandler, 1999).
However, many parents and teachers
across Nigeria are worried about the cartoons their children are watching
(Krieg, 2003). According to Krieg (2003), they feel that the cartoons have
become too violent and are having negative long-term effects on children. It is
common to see young boys pretending to shoot one another, while jumping on the
couch and hiding in closets as a sort of make-believe fort. But parents say
that children are learning these behaviors from cartoons and imitating them.
Others however, disagree; they say that violence in cartoons does not affect
children and that children need this world of fantasy in their lives. They say
that children would show these same behaviors regardless of the content of the
cartoons they watch (Benham, 2006).
It was found in previous study that
what children watches on TV at age 8 will be one of the best predictors of how
aggressive they will be as an adult. The children's TV viewing outweighed other
factors such as child-rearing practices and socioeconomic factors (Chandler,
1999). Chandler (1999) also found that what a child watches after age 8 is not
nearly as important as what they watch before age 8. Others argue that this
violence desensitizes children to real life violence. They see the cartoon
characters beating up the bad guys so when they see a bully at school picking
on another kid they are less likely to find anything wrong with that situation.
It has long been accepted that certain
behaviour by children causes significant alarm, distress, fear or intimidation
to certain members of society (Siegel, 1996). Antisocial behaviors
are disruptive acts characterized by covert and overt hostility and intentional
aggression toward others. Antisocial behaviors exist along a severity continuum
and include repeated violations of social rules, defiance of authority and of
the rights of others, deceitfulness, theft, and reckless disregard for self and
others (Snow, 2004). Antisocial behavior can be identified in children as young
as three or four years of age. If left unchecked these coercive behavior
patterns will persist and escalate in severity over time, becoming a chronic
behavioral disorder. Antisocial
behavior may be overt, involving aggressive actions against siblings, peers,
parents, teachers, or other adults, such as verbal abuse, bullying and hitting;
or covert, involving aggressive actions against property, such as theft,
vandalism, and fire-setting (Snow, 2004). Covert antisocial behaviors in early
childhood may include noncompliance, sneaking, lying, or secretly destroying
another's property. Antisocial behaviors also include drug and alcohol abuse
and high-risk activities involving self and others (Anderson, 2008).
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It is a general believe that adults can
watch violence in cartoon and other TV
series and understand that it is not real, children on the other hand
may have difficulties in differentiating between what is real and what is make
believe. This is has made it necessary to understand how cartoon violence
influences the behaviour of children. Multiple risk factors
for development and persistence of antisocial behaviors include genetic,
neurobiological, and environmental stressors including violent cartoons, beginning
at the prenatal stage and often continuing throughout the childhood years
(Haynes, 2008). Heavy exposure to media violence through television, movies,
Internet sites, video games, and
even cartoons has long been associated with an increase in the likelihood that
a child will become desensitized to violence and behave in aggressive and
antisocial ways (Haynes, 2008). However, research relating violent cartoons
with antisocial behavior is inconsistent and varies in design and quality, with
findings of both increased and decreased aggression after exposure to violent
cartoons. However, the researcher is investigating the correlation between
violent cartoons and antisocial behaviors in children.
OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The following are the objectives of
examine the correlation between violent cartoons
and antisocial behaviors in children.
determine the extent of children’s exposure to violent cartoons.
determine the positive influence of cartoons on children.
is the correlation
between violent cartoons and antisocial behaviors in children?
is the extent of children exposure to violent cartoon?
are the positive influences of cartoons on children?
There is no significant relationship
cartoons and antisocial behaviors in children
There is significant relationship
cartoons and antisocial behaviors in children
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The outcome of this study will form a
useful guide for government, policy makers and the video censor board in
regulating the violent content of cartoons videos on sale in the country
considering the antisocial consequences on children. The results of this study
will also educate the parents and teachers on the type of cartoons that the
children should be exposed to and the consequences. This will also form a guide
for the parents and teachers in educating their children on the language and
attitude that are socially acceptable and the ones that are not. This research
will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested
in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go
to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
This correlational study
between violent cartoons and antisocial behaviors in children will cover the
violent contents of popular cartoon videos on sale in Nigeria with a view of
identifying the negative consequences on children behaviour. Parents and
children will also participate as subjects in this research.
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the
researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information
and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will
simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently
will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
the way in which one acts or conducts oneself,
especially toward others.
a motion picture using animation
techniques to photograph a sequence of drawings rather than real people or
behavior involving physical force
intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.