Get access

The Relationship Between Indirect and Physical Aggression on Television and in Real Life


Sarah M. Coyne, Department of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2 HE, UK. Email:


Viewing indirect aggression on television has been shown to have negative short-term effects on a viewer's subsequent aggressive behavior; however, the longer term relationship between viewing indirect aggression on television and in real life has not yet been examined. Three hundred and forty-seven adolescents, aged 11–14, were asked to list their five favorite television programs. These programs were analyzed for the amount and type of aggression they contained. Peer-nominated indirect aggression was predicted by other aggressive behavior, sex, and televised indirect aggression. In particular, indirectly aggressive girls viewed more indirect aggression on television than any other group. Peer-nominated physical aggression was predicted by other aggressive behavior and sex, but not by televised physical or indirect aggression. This study provides a starting point for future long-term research on the effect of viewing indirect aggression in the media.

Get access to the full text of this article