THE EFFECTS OF VIOLENT MOVIES ON ADOLESCENT-S IN TWO SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ZARIA
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Watching movies has become a common phenomenon among adolescents due to the technological advancement of media tools which are easily accessible to them. The challenge is that watching violent movies can have detrimental effects on the psychological development of adolescents as well as that of the society at large. This study therefore focused on the effects of violent scenes in movies on adolescents in two selected schools in Zaria, Kaduna State. The research examined varieties of movies that tend to appeal to adolescents and how they affect their behaviours. The study identified negative behaviours that can be associated with these violent movies with the aim of addressing adolescents‘ exposure to violent movies. Amixed-method of quantitative and qualitative research was deployed for this study. A total of 286 copies of questionnaire were issued and 280 copies returned from two selected Schools-Demonstration Secondary School and Great Hallmark International School. The results of the analysis showed that adolescents imitate violent scenes in movies especially when such acts are glamourized with no immediate repercussions and corresponds with Social Learning Theory which centres on imitating acts from the media. The study also discovered that constant viewing of violent movies by adolescents affectstheir perceptions about the society thereby justifying the Cultivation Theory which is anchored on the tenets of the media cultivating viewer‘s perception of reality. Furthermore, findings of the study revealed that adolescents can be desensitized to real life violence and exhibit some negative attitudes in school and the society because of the influence of violent movies they view. Based on the findings of the study, it was suggested that parents should monitor what adolescents view on their media tools by acquiring the necessary technical skills and create time to watch movies with them as well as partake in other social activities. Also, it was recommended that producers should not produce movies that glamourize violence. In addition, Nigerian Film and Video Censorship Board should adjust movie ratings to curtail access to violent movies. It was further suggested that schoolauthorities should engage adolescents in academic activities to keep them active. It is therefore a fact that a well channelled development programme for adolescents using educative movies devoid of violence will lead to greater growth in the society which is the claim of this study.
GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1.0 Introduction
Violence is a major concern in all segments of societies today.Studies by Kaplan (2012),
Mc Quail (2010), Miller (2002) and Ajilore, Ojo, Nwalolikpe, Akinreti, Odeybenle and Jegede
(2013) have shown that exposure to violent media, such as movies, can promote aggressive or
violent behaviour in children, adolescents and youths (International Journal of Innovative
Research and Development, 2013). Researchers such as Mangwere, Wadesango, and Kurebwa,
(2013) believe that exposure to action-packed movies greatly impact on the behaviour of
children and adolescents. Most children and adolescents try to imitate the characters in movie;
they want to be closely associated with the characters that they view as superior (Mangwere, et
al, 2013). They are seen acting like movie stars.They wrestle with friend on the street and use
uncensored words. The most important concern in the debate about violent movies has been
whether or not it promotes aggressive behaviour among youngviewers (Evra 1990).
Furthermore,the emergence of new media technologies to watchviolent movies have
aggravated theeffects of violent movies (scenes)on adolescents. All these have cumulatively
necessitated a study of this nature in Zaria.
1.1 Background to the Study
The impact of violent movies on young adults has been a contested issue in recent times.
Many believe that movies greatly influence the life of adolescents, especially in the negative
dimension (Strasburger, 1993). Thus, most violent crimes in the society are blamed on young
adults‘ or adolescents‘ exposure to movies with violent scenes. According to Chauhan (2011),
movies are the best means of relaxation and opportunity for the viewers to identify with the
characters of the story. Movies satisfy basic desires which are often exhibited in the social 1
environment(Chauhan, 2011). Movie is a source of popular entertainment and it is pertinent to
note that from the moment one indulges in watching movies, one is transformed into a new
world where the mind is at ease(Nsisong, 2016). Adolescents watch movies for entertainment
and pleasure. Action, suspense, romance and mystery are some of the aspects of movies that
adolescents get attracted to (Chauhan, 2011).
Norris and Sargent (2002) found out that a surprising number of young teenagers watch
extremely violent movies. In countries like America, an average child sees 200,000 violent acts
and 16,000 murders on TVby age 18 (Donoughp, 2006; Rideout, Foehr and Roberts, 2010;
Bickham, 2006 and Strasburger, 2002). The situation in Nigeria is not different; most children
between 5 and 20 years of age spend over 6 hours daily on entertainment media which include
television and movies (Ukoha, 2013).
In Nigeria, movies are some of the agents of socialisation and it has been observed that
adolescents spend not less than 75 hours a week watching movies.This figure exceeds by far the
amount of time spent in school (Wood, 1983). In other words, during a period of one week alone,
a child would have watched a hundred killings; armed robbery, prostitution, rape, sex, violence
and fight (Wood, 1985). Wood (1985), observes that these movies influence the behaviour of the
adolescents greatly. This is of concern because movies affect the behaviour of adolescents both
positively and negatively. While there exist movies that celebrate heroism and gallantry, the
issue that concerns many today is the increasing rate of movies that portray cruelty, torture,
killings, homicide, kidnap, terrorism and sexual escapades (Okon, 2015).
Violence has become a common theme in most movies, even in G-rated (suitable for
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