INFLUENCE OF TELEVISED VIOLENCE ON SOCIOEMOTIONAL AND ACADEMIC ADJUSTMENT OF STUDENTS IN FEDERAL TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN ANAMBRA STATE

INFLUENCE OF TELEVISED VIOLENCE ON SOCIOEMOTIONAL AND ACADEMIC ADJUSTMENT OF STUDENTS IN FEDERAL TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN ANAMBRA STATE

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ABSTRACT

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.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

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

the television.

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

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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

scientific research.

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 &

Cantor, 2003).

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

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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

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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

behaviour.

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

Association, 2006).

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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.

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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,

1989).

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.

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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

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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

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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

report.

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

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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

viewers.

Research Questions

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?

Research Hypothesis

The following research hypothesis will be tested at 0.05 level of

significance:

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.

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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

significant





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