A Mean Read
aggression, books, literature, media, physical, relational
Adolescents' exposure to violence in the media has been associated with increases in aggressive thoughts and behaviors. While violent content has been studied extensively in other media, aggression portrayed in literature has not been assessed in detail. Given the continued popularity of reading among adolescents and the potential impact of content on cognitions and behaviors, this study aims to increase knowledge in this understudied area. Aggressive behavior was coded in forty bestselling adolescent novels on The New York Times Best-Sellers List (time span June–July 2008). Results revealed that adolescents are exposed to a significant number of aggressive acts while reading novels. Relational and verbal forms of aggression were more frequent than physical forms. Most aggression was portrayed as having no consequences. Thus, books represent one potentially overlooked source of exposure to aggressive content. Content guides on books are discussed.
Original Publication Citation
Coyne, S. M., Callister, M., *Pruett, T., Nelson, D. A., *Stockdale, L., & *Wells, B. M. (2011). A Mean Read: Aggression in Adolescent English Literature. Journal of Children and Media, 5, 411-425.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Coyne, Sarah; Callister, Mark; Pruett, Talita; Nelson, David A.; Stockdale, Laura Ann; and Wells, Brian M., "A Mean Read" (2011). All Faculty Publications. 2381.
Journal of Children and Media
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
© 2011 Taylor & Francis