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The major focus of this study is to assess the influence of television violence
on socio-emotional and adjustment of student of federal tertiary institution
in Anambra state comprising Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Federal
Polytechnic Oko and College of Education, Umunze. The study assessed
what kinds of program me’s/films contain violence and how it affects the
respondent and influence their lifestyle and behaviour particularly
undergraduates. The respond that formed the sample size were 300 in
numbers randomly selected from the three Federal tertiary institution
understudy. The questionnaire was designed to measure the rate of influence
of television violence as well as socio-emotional and academic adjustment of
student understudy. This was done in order to determine the nature and the
extent of the effect of TV violence on undergraduates. In the findings of this
study, it was found that youths initiate violence they observed on TV and the
effect of TV violence on them is profound.
Background of the Study
The overwhelming influence of television on the lives of people since its
invention has over the years become not only un-debatable, but equally stunning.
Television according to Onwuegbu, (2001) is an electronic cum audio-visual
device through which viewers watch recorded and live programmes on air. The
influence of television on the lives of people stems not only from the three roles it
plays - as a medium of information, education and entertainment. Also many
groups have taken solace in television and its programmes as means of relaxation,
recreation, withdrawal, goal setting and socialization.
Teaching and learning in schools have strong social, emotional, and
academic components (Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004). Students
typically do not learn alone but rather in collaboration with their teachers, in the
company of their peers, and with the encouragement of their families using several
gadgets and television in particular. Sometimes, violent programmes are shown on
Violence on society has been widely studied and vigorously debated. Based
on the cumulative evidence of studies conducted over several decades, the
scientific and public health communities overwhelmingly conclude that viewing
violence poses a harmful risk to children. Critics of the research challenge this
conclusion and dispute claims that exposure to TV violence leads to real-life
aggression. As we move into the digital era with enhanced images and sound,
media violence will undoubtedly continue to be a focus of public concern and
In recent times, it appears the rate at which violence is aired on television is
increasing. Osuji (2009) defined violence as an act accompanied by attack or force
inflicting injury or pains on another person. Enyi (2003) has also defined violence
as the act of showing in motion pictures and movies the acts accompanied with
attacks and injuries. Moreso, violence on the streets as well as the tendency of
youths (including students) to act violently, after viewing violence has become an
increasingly disturbing issue among many concerned groups.
The combination of sound and vision has made television exert tremendous
influence in shaping the lives of students in tertiary institutions. It is informing,
educating, entertaining and persuasive. As a result of this, it is a powerful force in
determining the socio-emotional and academic adjustments of students. Despite
the importance of television, its harmful effects cannot be overemphasized as it
shapes the students’ socio-economic and academic aspects of life. Students watch
violent movies/films on television screen without considering if its advantages out
weight the harmful effects on their lives and the society at large (Bushman &
Different television stations show violent and horror movies that students
often like to copy and form attitude about life without weighing the hazardous
effects of such violent movies on one’s behaviour. In this case, television is easily
manipulated by movie makers to show movies that dominate the realm of
students’ reasoning thus consciously or unconsciously impacting on their socioemotion
and academic adjustments. With its adaptability to modern technology,
television is a veritable tool for integration by providing the viewers’ access to a
variety of information which helps them to know and understand each other but
when wrongly manipulated it influences the socio-emotional and academic
adjustment of students.
The issue of learners’ adjustment at school has long been a concern of
educationalists and psychologists. From the psychological point of view,
adjustment is important because it plays a role in the optimal development of
children. The educationists view adjustment of learners at school as determining
the children’s school performance as well as their likelihood of continuing at
school rather than dropping out. Reynolds, Weissberg and Kasprow (1992) write
that early school adjustment determines later school adjustment and social
competence in children. This implies that adjustment has a significant influence
on children’s attitudes towards school and school progress. This further implies
that the academic adjustment of children could lead to poor performances in
school work, poor attendance to lectures and other class activities, mention but a
few. This is a situation where the adjustment is a negative one.
Today students copy role models from television screens in the form of
clothing, hairstyle, language and attitudes. The aftermath is that greater number of
students in federal tertiary institutions in Anambra State, Federal College of
Education Umunze and Federal Polytechnic Oko tend to reflect these attitudes in
the form of social vices such as gansterism, cultism and examination malpractices.
The content of television programmes has unlimited violence which includes
robbery, shoot-outs, murder, and use of dangerous weapons.
The proliferation of violent movies, in the market tends to increase the rate
of violence being carried out by students in tertiary institutions. Considering the
ever increasing cases of cult clashes resulting in bloodletting and death of
students countless records of rape and armed robberies by students leads to the
fact that heavy exposure to televised violence influences the viewer’s social
In recent times, researchers have repeatedly been pointing to the fact that
the increase in violence especially among students in tertiary institutions is
attributable to viewing televised violence. Anaekwe, (2002) argues that poor
academic performance experienced among students can be attributable to over
indulgence by students who spend long hours watching violence programmes on
television, which at the end tilt them negatively in terms of emotional disposition.
Television is emotionally and psychologically harmful to children and
youths. Television seem to be most significant in leisure activity. The National
Television violence study (NTSV) conducted from 1994 to 1997, reported that
watching so much violence on television causes children and young adults to think
that the world is a mean and dangerous place (American Psychological
Televised violence programmes influence children. Therefore, television
influences teenage violence. Freedman (1983) says that when a child is
confronted, he or she goes back to what they have learned from watching
television. In some cases, children using what they learned from the television can
be very violent, but due to the fact that we learn from doing something over and
over, it is the same for watching violent situations over and over. Children learn
them and react in a violent manner.
Children cannot tell the difference between real and unreal act on television.
Television programmes contain a lot of make-up belief. Some of the acts on
television are make-up stories. As such, the actors and the story may not be true.
Thus, young children are unlikely to realize that when a character attacks someone
it is not real and should not be imitated.
The assumption that television violence have impact on children’s value
and perception of the world has long been a central one in social science
theorizing. The American researchers; Tubbs, Stewart, Moss and Sylvia, (1980)
noted that as children grow older, those who had unsatisfactory social
relationships were reported to be heavy viewers. These researchers further
reported that although there was no indication that behaviour in most normal
children reflect violence act after viewing television, certain children might be
victim. In short Schramm (1976) emphasized that intellectual and emotional
characteristics of children were important factors in determining the influence of
televised violence on socio-emotional and academic adjustment of children.
Violence on television is inextricably linked to human aggression and emotional
imbalance especially among students in tertiary institutions. However, some
researchers do not believe that there is a conclusive body of evidence to justify
this view. This study therefore, aims at x-raying the impact of televised-violence
on socio-emotional and academic adjustments of students, as well as whether
gender moderates the extent of the influence.
Furthermore, researchers are increasingly focusing on issue of gender
related difference and similarities in school performance Shraunt (1976) are
positively related to gender differences. According to Benbow and Stanley (1983)
policy-makers and school administrators have made progress in eliminating sex
discrimination from their policies and programs. Inspite of those vestiges of sex
discriminations, gender bias and sex stereotyping still remains (Earle and Roach,
Gender bias occurs whenever someone’s attitude, decisions and actions
towards an individual are based on that individual’s gender. Thus in Nigeria which
is a patriarchal society gender bias is very persuasive, Hodge (2001). It therefore
deserves careful examination as a factor that could influence children’s school
performance and social adjustment.
Many teachers in Nigerian schools are still gender insensitive. This
insensitivity continues to exert powerful and regulative influences on many
students and also bring about differences in the academic and socio-emotional
adjustments of these students. There is need to investigate it.
Statement of Problem
A key challenge for 21st-century schools involves serving culturally diverse
students with varied abilities and motivations for learning Unfortunately, many
students lack social-emotional adjustment after viewing violent programmes on
television. As a result, they become less connected to school as they progress from
elementary to through secondary to tertiary institution, and this lack of connection
negatively affects their academic performance, behavior and health. Negative
effect of televised violence on students’ academic performance as observed by
Blum and Libby may be as a result of students’ inability to adjust academically
after viewing violent programmes on television.
Violence is one of the dominating messages disseminated through the
sensation of television, which plays an active role in entertaining and impacting
the lives of today‘s young audience. The influence of televised violence on socioemotional
and academic adjustment of children has been largely associated with
imbibing new ways of life and has not been properly addressed by different
researchers. These ways include social, emotional and mental behaviours. Gender
is also an important consideration in the degree of influence of televised violence
as women appear to react differently to televised violence. Because of its
prevalence, violence on TV has grown to be a controversial issue on which several
studies have been conducted since the 1950s. This project explores the influence
of televised violence on socio-emotional and academic adjustment of students in
federal tertiary institutions in Anambra state
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of televisedviolence
on socio-emotional and academic adjustment of students. Specifically,
the study seeks to determine:
1. The influence of televised violence on social adjustment of students who
are intense, moderate and low viewers.
2. The influence of televised-violence in emotional adjustment of students
who are intense, moderate and low television viewers.
3. The influence of televised-violence on the academic adjustments of students
who are intense, moderate and low viewers.
4. Influences of televised-violence on students’ Gender
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be found useful to the teachers, parents,
educational psychologist, school administrators, policy-makers and students.
The findings of this study will be theoretically significant as the data
provided will hopefully help the educational psychologists in refining all the
theories with regards to the influence of televised violence on student’s socioemotional
and academic adjustments.
The teachers / lecturers will benefit from this study as they become aware
of the influence of televised-violence on the behaviour and academic performance
of their children, considering their developmental stages. It will help them make
use of appropriate technique in teaching the children.
The findings of the study will be of immense help to educational
psychologists and policy-makers and assist them in their different duties towards
the students and their overall performance. For the students, this study will go a
long way in assisting them in creating a balance on the rate at which they are
exposed to televised-violence.
Parents too, will find this work valuable as it will assist them in
knowing what exposure to televised violence can cause their children in school.
This will help them to check against such violence-portrayed movies capable of
influencing attitudes negatively.
Lastly, this work would be beneficial to future researchers who can now
readily lay their hands on the result of this work by making use of the research
Scope of the Study
This study will be carried out in Anambra state tertiary institution and will
cover three federal tertiary institutions.
The content scope of this study will be limited to influence of televisedviolence
on socio-emotional and academic adjustments of students. Apart from the
effects of exposure to-televised violence movies on academic performance of
heavy viewers, this study also looks at the socio-emotional adjustments of viewers
as well as measure the degree of such influence across gender. Respondents who
watch television below 2 hours per day will be regarded as low viewers, those
who watch television between 2 – 4 hours per day will be regarded as moderate
viewers while those who watch above 4 hours per day will be regarded as intense
The following research questions will serve as guides in this study:
i. What is the influence of televised violence on the social adjustments of
students who are intense, moderate, and low viewers?
ii. What is the influence of televised violence on the emotional adjustments of
students who are intense, moderate and low viewers?
iii. What is the influence of televised violence on academic adjustments of
students who are intense, moderate and low viewers?
iv. What is the influence of televised violence on students gender?
The following research hypothesis will be tested at 0.05 level of
H01: Televised-violence does not significantly influence social adjustment
of students who are intense, moderate and low television viewers.
H02: The influence of televised violence on the emotional adjustment of
intense, moderate and low viewing students is not significant.
H03: The influence of televised violence on the academic adjustment of
intense, moderate and low viewing students is not significant.
H04: The influence of televised violence on students gender is not
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