Decades of researchers have found that exposure to aggressive content in multiple forms of media is associated with both physically (Bushman & Anderson, 2001) and relationally (Coyne, Nelson, Graham-Kevan, Keister, & Grant, 2010) aggressive behavior. Similarly, other researchers have found that exposure to prosocial content in multiple forms of media is associated with increased prosocial behavior (Mares & Underwood, 2008). While these associations have been studied in a variety of media, books as a form of media have received less research attention. The current study examined the associations between the content of adolescents' favorite novels and their normative beliefs about aggression, physical, relational, and romantic relational aggression, and prosocial behavior. Associations were found between reading relationally aggressive material in novels and romantic relationally and peer-directed relationally aggressive behaviors. Similar associations were found between reading prosocial content in novels and prosocial behavior. Implications of the results are discussed.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Stockdale, Laura Ann, "Emulating Gossip Girl: Aggressive and Prosocial Material in Adolescent Novels and Associations with Behavior" (2011). Theses and Dissertations. 2926.
Adolescence, Aggression, Media