Essay Questions On Youth Crime

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Clint Eastwood’s movie “Dirty Harry” has been linked to copy cat serial killings and more recently the school shootings at Columbine (1999) have been linked to violent video games (Carnagey, Anderson and Bartholow).

Numerous studies have been undertaken to see what effects video game playing has on feelings of aggression and subsequent acts of aggression.

Video Games: There is a large number of studies that look at different factors of video games that increase frustration and feelings of hostility in youths and adolescents who engage in video playing activity.

The past research has led to the application of the General Aggression Model (GAM) in violent video game studies (Bartlett, Harris and Baldassaro 2007).

The results supported the theory that aggression increased in the individual while engaging in violent video games as there was an increase in physiological arousal (heart rate) and the responses to the story stems increased in aggression significantly between baseline to the time interval.

The study found that the GAM offered an adequate explanation of the short-term effects of video games (Bartlett et al.) Although this particular study was conducted on participants with an average age of 19 (1 year older than what is recognised as being juvenile), the GAM suggests the desensitisation would have occurred in previous exposures to stimuli, while they were juveniles and the high internal validity does not suggest that findings would significantly differ if participants were 18.The GAM encompasses all past theories on aggression and relies on short term affect, arousal and cognition components (Anderson & Bushman 2002) According to Anderson (2002), the GAM can account for the wide variety of effects seen in the media violence literature which lead to the child exposed becoming more desensitized to violence and habitually more aggressive.The GAM suggests that individual factors interact with the situational factors, which may lead to a person’s feeling impacting on real world actions (Bartlett et al 2007).Therefore if a youth has been playing a violent video game and has experienced an increase in frustration or hostility it is more likely that they are to act out. sought to demonstrate this in an experiment where participants played a video game with measures being taken at a timed interval.Participants were given story stems to respond to where participants had to say how they would react to certain scenarios and their heart rate was taken.What solutions can you offer to deal with this situation?In some societies, the number of crimes committed by teenagers is growing.Two types of aggression identified by Baumeister and Bushman (2008) are “hostile aggression” and “instrumental aggression”.Hostile aggressions constitute crimes or acts with impulsive or emotive motivations whereas instrumental aggression is more calculated and motivated by goal driven behaviour.The difference in motivation behind aggressive behaviour has led researchers to explore whether aggression in youths and subsequently adults, is a result of the increasing violence shown in the media, the situational circumstances one is in or if there are physiological factors such as personality that determine how aggressive one is. In the early 1950s horror comics were criticised and linked to juvenile delinquency.Since then television as well as video and computer games have been accused of undermining moral values and cultivating a more violent and criminally oriented social climate (Gunter, 1994).


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