inBACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The overwhelming influence of television on the lives of people since its invention has over the years become not only un-debatable, but equally stunning. Television according to Onwuegbu, (2001) is an electronic cum audio-visual device through which viewers watch recorded and live programmes on air. The influence of television on the lives of people stems not only from the three roles it plays - as a medium of information, education and entertainment. Also many groups have taken solace in television and its programmes as means of relaxation, recreation, withdrawal, goal setting and socialization. Teaching and learning in schools have strong social, emotional, and academic components (Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004). Students typically do not learn alone but rather in collaboration with their teachers, in the company of their peers, and with the encouragement of their families using several gadgets and television in particular. Sometimes, violent programmes are shown on the television.
Violence on society has been widely studied and vigorously debated. Based on the cumulative evidence of studies conducted over several decades, the scientific and public health communities overwhelmingly conclude that viewing violence poses a harmful risk to children. Critics of the research challenge this conclusion and dispute claims that exposure to TV violence leads to real-life aggression. As we move into the digital era with enhanced images and sound, media violence will undoubtedly continue to be a focus of public concern and scientific research.
Media is entrenched in the lives of the generality of people that no day will pass without one accessing or interacting with one form of media or another. Media is not only for entertainment, but it used for information, education and enlightenment. Despite the numerous advantages that media has the depiction of violence has become a thing of serious concern to all and sundry. Media violence has become a contemporary and global issue which constitutes serious hardzard not only to the adolescents but to the entire populace. Over the years there has been growing concern over the effect of increase violence in the media (Paik &Comstock, 1994; Anderson &Bushman 2001; Huesmann; Eron&Dubow,2003). There are different media medium, like the radio, television, videos, movies, video game, Computer network and so on. These are having tremendous impact on the lives, beliefs, values and general outlook of human beings. Exposure to media violence could have far reaching effect not only on the children but also the adolescents, they are affected psychologically and physiologically. Adolescents that are prone to watching violent media programmes are often desensitized to violence thus they see it as a way of resolving conflict. According to Hogan (2005), continuous exposure to media violence can result in an increase acceptance of violence as an appropriate means of solving problems and achieving one’s goal. While television movies and music videos normalize carrying and using of weapons, it also glamorizes them as sources of personal power (Federman, 1998). Media seems to have greater medium of shaping young people’s attitudes and actions than do parents' or teachers’ replacing them as educators, role models and primary sources of information about the world and how one behaves in it (Strasburger, 2006). Popular actors and actresses in current soap operas are often models and mentors for the adolescents. They tend to copy their hairdo, clothing styles, swaggers and even the way they speak and conduct themselves. Some even go to the extreme of copying their negative and contrary behaviour like sagging of the trousers and taking of hard drugs.
It has been observed that prolong exposure to media violence can have serious health implication such as anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, nightmares, social isolation and post-traumatic stress. (Anderson, Berkowitz, Donnerstein, Huesmann, Johnson, Linz, Malamuth&Wartella (2003) have associated exposure to media violence with a variety of physical and mental health problems for both children and adolescents. These problems includes aggressive, violent behaviour, bullying, desensitization to violence, fear depression, nightmares and sleep disturbance Huesmann, Moise-Titus,Pudolski and Eron (2003) also found that there is consistent and significant association between media exposure and increase in aggression and violence among Americans, and other cross cultural studies, field experiments, laboratory experiments, cross-sectional studies and longitudinal studies among children, adolescents and young adults. There is an increase concern on the negative effect of media violence among adolescents. It is believe that exposure to violence on television and in video games may increase the risk of violent behavior on the viewers’ part just like some that grow up in an environment filled with real violence increase the risk of violent behaviour. Huesmann, Eron and Dubow (2003) were of the opinion that a significant proportion of aggressive children are likely to grow to be aggressive adult. They also argued that seriously violent adolescents and adult were often highly aggressive and even violent as children. Huesmann at.al (2003) further noted that the best single predictor of violent behaviour in older adolescents, young adults and even middle aged adults is the occurrence of aggressive behaviour in childhood. Therefore, it is noted that exposure to media violence which could promote aggressive behaviour in young children may contribute to increasing aggressive and eventual violent behaviour many years later. Therefore, this study focuses on violent television programmes and its effect on Nigerian youths, a case study of Alimosho local government.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Different television stations show violent and horror movies that students often like to copy and form attitude about life without weighing the hazardous effects of such violent movies on one’s behavior.
In recent times, it appears the rate at which violence is aired on television is increasing. Osuji (2009) defined violence as an act accompanied by attack or force inflicting injury or pains on another person. Enyi (2003) has also defined violence as the act of showing in motion pictures and movies the acts accompanied with attacks and injuries. Moreso, violence on the streets as well as the tendency of youths (including students) to act violently, after viewing violence has become an increasingly disturbing issue among many concerned groups.
Violence in television unlike other agents are usually presented in an interesting and entertaining manner such that it is easier to imitate and copy by children and youths. That is why Huesmann Rowell (2008:15) in his contribution emphasized that not every child who watches a lot of violence on television or play a lot of violent games will grow up to be violent. But just as every cigarette increases the chance that someday a smoker will get lung cancer, every exposure to violence increases the chance that someday a child will behave more violently than he otherwise would. Earlier in 1959, the New York Department of Mental Health Hygiene researchers evaluated both television violence viewing and aggressive behaviour of 184 third grade boys. In a follow up study of the same group ten years later, they discovered an astonishing long term effect. Dr. Monroe Lefkowitz, the senior researcher of the team, concluded that regardless of whether the individual’s behaviour at age eight was combative or aggressive, if he watched high levels of television violence, he was likely to rank high in aggression ten years later. These problems make it glaring that there is a need to carry out a study on violent television programmes and its effect on Nigerian youths, a case study of Alimosho local government.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine violent television programmes and its effect on Nigerian youths, a case study of Alimosho local government. The specific objectives of the study are:
1. To find out the preference of youths in Alimosho LGA towards violent television programmes.
2. To ascertain the influence of violent television programmes on the behavior of youths in Alimosho LGA.
3. To examine the impact of violent television programmes on the perception of youth on criminal acts.
4. To investigate the effect of violent television on the emotions of youths in Alimosho local government.
5. To know if there is a relationship between violent television programmes and moral decadence among youths in Alimosho LGA.
The relevant research questions related to the study include the following:
1. What is the preference of youths in Alimosho LGA towards violent television programmes?
2. What is the influence of violent television programmes on the behavior of youths in Alimosho LGA?
3. What is the impact of violent television programmes on the perception of youth on criminal acts?
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