Media violence seems to have the strongest impact on preschool children, in part because they are still learning social norms and inhibitions against behaving aggressively. Prosocial effects of watching television (media)are strongest for slightly older children, speaking at about age seven or eight. The influence of media on fear and anxiety is common throughout childhood, although the types of content that upset children differ with age. Younger children are frightened more by fantasy portrayals; older primary school children and preteens, more by realistic content, including the news.
Children differ in the degree to which they believe that what they see on the screen is realistic. When media story lines seem realistic, children are likely to pay closer attention to what they are watching and presumably exert more cognitive effort in processing the information. Shows perceived as being real may also encourage children to imagine themselves in the characters’ place. And…

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