Title

Pow! Boom! Kablam! Effects of Viewing Superhero Programs on Aggressive, Prosocial, and Defending Behaviors in Preschool Children

Keywords

Media, Superheroes, Physical aggression, Relational aggression, Prosocial behavior, Defending behaviors, Bullying

Abstract

Many schools and parents try to motivate children to become defenders of victimized peers. Defending behavior is common in the media (particularly in superhero programs); however, no study has examined the effect of media on defending behavior. The aim of the study was to examine longitudinal associations between superhero engagement and a variety of aggressive, prosocial, and defending behaviors in preschool children. Participants consisted of 240 preschoolers (49% male) and their parents who reported on child media use and outcomes at 2 different time points. Preschooler’s engagement with superheroes was related to increased physical and relational aggression 1 year later. Engagement with superheroes was not related to prosocial or defending behaviors. Implications of the results are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Coyne, S. M., Stockdale, L., Linder, J. R., Nelson, D. A., *Collier, K. M., & *Essig, L. W. (2017). Pow! Boom! Kablam! Effects of viewing superhero programs on aggressive, prosocial, and defending behaviors in preschool children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45, 1523-1535.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2017-01-09

Publisher

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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