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Media Exposure, Aggression and Prosocial Behavior During Early Childhood: A Longitudinal Study


Jamie M. Ostrov, 214 Park Hall, Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260-4110, USA. Email:


Preschool children (N = 78) enrolled in multi-informant, multi-method longitudinal study were participants in a study designed to investigate the role of media exposure (i.e., violent and educational) on concurrent and future aggressive and prosocial behavior. Specifically, the amount of media exposure and the nature of the content was used to predict concurrent and future physical, verbal and relational aggression as well as prosocial behavior for girls and boys. This two-year longitudinal study found that media exposure predicted various subtypes of aggression and prosocial behavior. These findings are qualified by the gender of the focal child. That is, parental reports of media exposure were associated with relational aggression for girls and physical aggression for boys at school. Ways in which these findings extend our understanding of the role of media during early childhood are discussed.