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What 10-12-Year-Olds Really Think

<a href="/articles/what-10-12-year-olds-really-think">What 10-12-Year-Olds Really Think</a>

Findings from the fourth annual Small Voices, Big Dreams survey, commissioned by the ChildFund Alliance, uncovered the unique views of today’s 10-12-year-olds. Their ideas on violence, peace, heroes and happiness were explored in a survey that included nearly 6,500 children from 47 countries (36 developing; 11 developed), including 202 Australians. Read full article

Parents Asked to Limit TV and Have a Media Plan

<a href="/articles/parents-asked-to-limit-tv-and-have-a-media-plan">Parents Asked to Limit TV and Have a Media Plan</a>

The newly released policy from the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) Council on Communications and Media urges parents, schools, doctors and advertisers to recognise media effects on children – both positive and negative. While the Academy remains concerned about research-based evidence about the potential for harm from media messages, it also acknowledges the positive effects from television shows like Sesame Street, which teaches children numbers and letters Read full article

Using Science for Video Classification, instead of Guesswork

<a href="/blogs/elizabethhandsley/2013/10/18/using-science-for-video-classification-instead-of-guesswork">Using Science for Video Classification, instead of Guesswork</a>

There is strong evidence that consumption of violent media risks influencing people’s thoughts, attitudes and behaviour. The evidence cannot ever be conclusive but in our society we take some pretty drastic measures based on less than ironclad proof ... Regulatory action to respond to the science on violent media would not simply be a matter of tightening up access on all fronts. A root and branch review of the classification categories and criteria is needed to shift the focus away from what is offensive to what is harmful based on the evidence. Read full article

Media Violence and a Child's Developing Brain

<a href="/articles/media-violence-and-a-childs-developing-brain">Media Violence and a Child&#039;s Developing Brain</a>

Speaking at the Australian Council for Children and the Media’s conference last week, Dr Wayne Warburton, Deputy Director of the Children and Families Research Centre, summarised research demonstrating how violent media has an impact on the brain of a developing child. Imaging studies show emotional desensitisation and real changes in the brain associated with the ability to inhibit aggressive responses. Read full article

Is There a Gun Where Your Child Plays?

<a href="/articles/is-there-a-gun-where-your-child-plays">Is There a Gun Where Your Child Plays?</a>

It was our teen who first told me that the parents of one of his friends keep a handgun in their family home '‘for protection'’. I did not react well. As far as I know, our son did not come into contact with the handgun. And knowing the parents as well as I do, I expect that their handgun is stored ‘safely’. But unless I am willing to ask some rather awkward questions I cannot know for sure. Read full article

Free Talk About the Impact of Violence and Trauma on Children

Join child psychiatry expert, Professor Louise Newman, in conversation with ABC Life Matters presenter, Natasha Mitchell, and a childcare trauma specialist as they explore the impact of violence and trauma on children’s development. This Next 200 Dialogue is hosted by The Benevolent Society, the State Library of NSW and Radio National. Read full article

Preliminary Research - Childhood Lead Exposure Linked to Crime in Adulthood

<a href="/articles/preliminary-research-childhood-lead-exposure-linked-to-crime-in-adulthood-0">Preliminary Research - Childhood Lead Exposure Linked to Crime in Adulthood</a>

Australians who were exposed to high levels of lead as children may be at greater risk of committing violent and impulsive crimes two decades later, yet-to-be-published research suggests. The origins of criminal behaviour have previously been attributed to a perpetrator’s genetic make up or how they were raised. But we’re increasingly realising that the child’s physical and chemical environment plays a significant role in criminal behaviours later in life. Read full article

Reducing Aggression by Teaching Teens that People Can Change

<a href="/articles/reducing-aggression-by-teaching-teens-that-people-can-change">Reducing Aggression by Teaching Teens that People Can Change</a>

When adults see media coverage of teens reacting aggressively to minor provocation, they often assume this behaviour is influenced by a teenager’s family background and experiences. And although a hostile family and school environment can contribute to aggressive behaviour, new research shows that the tendency of teens to act aggressively also depends on their belief about people’s ability or inability to change. This finding may help adults create education programs aimed at reducing violence and aggressive behaviour, and give parents important ideas on how to talk to children about people’s potential for change. Three key ideas for parents and teachers are included in this article. Read full article

Violent Toys for Kids - Surely There are Boundaries?

<a href="/blogs/yvettevignando/2013/02/12/violent-toys-for-kids-surely-there-are-boundaries">Violent Toys for Kids - Surely There are Boundaries?</a>

This was one of those segments where I was genuinely shocked - a toy maker selling a toy for a young child to "play" at robbing a bank. MSN reports "The toy features a bank manager, armed shooter, gold bars and a cash machine. In case kids can’t envision how to use the pieces, photos accompanying the set show the robber pointing a gun at the manager and forcing a blonde woman to empty the machine. Way to get those young, creative minds flowing." Read full article

Violence in Video Games - What Parents Need to Know

<a href="/articles/violence-in-video-games-what-parents-need-to-know">Violence in Video Games - What Parents Need to Know</a>

Although strongly challenged by well-credentialed researchers of the opposing view, a considerable body of research supports the view that children’s and adults’ exposure to violent media, including violent video games, increases the risk of verbal and physical aggression. And a 2012 Report of the Media Violence Commission, highlights the need for parents to be thoughtful about their children’s exposure to violent media. This article includes the risks to children, parenting ideas to minimise harm, and coverage of the contrary view, that the risk of exposure to violent media may be overstated. Read full article