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Study says violence on TV affecting child behaviour

health and fitness Updated: Oct 11, 2008 00:17 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla
Jaya Shroff Bhalla
Hindustan Times
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On the afternoon of December 11, 2007, Class VIII student Abhishek Tyagi of Euro International School in Gurgaon was shot dead by two of his classmates over a petty disagreement.

More and more young schoolgoing children are resorting to violent means to find quick resolutions to their growing impatience and frustrations.

The alarming trend has been confirmed by the department of mental health and behavioral sciences at Max Health Care. The hospital completed a survey of 1,000 school children — 541 boys and 459 girls in the NCR region.

A preliminary version of the study obtained by HT shows 56 per cent boys and 49 per cent school girls who were surveyed have said aggression is present in physical and verbal behaviour.

“Our primary goal was to identify behavioural problems of school children and the consequences on the lives and well being of society at large,” said Dr Samir Parikh, head psychiatrist and researcher at Max Health Centre. The study revealed peer pressure, physical and verbal aggression and media and television related aggression got the highest score.

“Unfortunately, sex and violence are the most prevalent features of today’s television programming,” he said.

Certain responses in the survey left the researchers dumbfounded. One of the questions was: ‘I am aware that some students carry a defensive weapon to school.’ Sixteen per cent boys responded in the moderate category, while seven per cent in the high category. Eight per cent girls answered in moderate category and five per cent in the high category.

Another question on the survey was: ‘I have sat in a car which was driven by someone who had been drinking alcohol.’

Fifteen per cent of boys answered in the moderate and 11 per cent in the high category. Among girls, 11 per cent responded in the moderate category and 6 per cent in the high category. More than 60 per cent of students responded that having a drink at parties is acceptable.