Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 241–258 | Cite as

Media Managing Mood: A Look at the Possible Effects of Violent Media on Affect

  • Alexandra Merritt
  • Rachel LaQuea
  • Rachel Cromwell
  • Christopher J. Ferguson
Original Paper



The potential impact of violent media on children’s emotional well-being has been a source of controversy for several decades. To date evidence for a negative impact of violent media on emotional well-being has been mixed and increasingly connected to a “replication crisis” throughout psychological science.


The current study examines concurrent and prospective relationships between violent media use and symptoms of depression and anxiety in a sample of 536 mostly Hispanic youth (309 males, age range 10–14).


Youth and parents were surveyed regarding social environment, media use and mental health. 302 youth responded to a 1-year follow-up.


Results indicated that neither violent television use nor violent video game use predicted anxiety or depression concurrently or depression prospectively with this sample.


The impact of media violence use on child mood symptoms appears to be minimal. Further research may wish to focus on particular at-risk groups.


Video games Television Violence Mental health Depression Anxiety 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Merritt
    • 1
  • Rachel LaQuea
    • 1
  • Rachel Cromwell
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Ferguson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStetson UniversityDeLandUSA

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