Recent scholarship has suggested that the frequency of violence in PG-13 rated movies has increased in recent years. Although some scholars have expressed concern that such an increase may have public health implications, this has remained untested. In the current article, trends in PG-13 movie violence are tested against trends in violence in society, including both homicides and youth violence. Raw correlations suggest that PG-13 rated movie violence is inversely related to actual violence in society. However, controlling for autocorrelations suggests that the best interpretation is that PG-13 rated movie violence is unrelated to violence in society. Caution is advised for scholars to avoid implying that PG-13 rated movie violence may have a causal effect on crime in society.
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Ferguson, C.J., Markey, P. PG-13 Rated Movie Violence and Societal Violence: is there a Link?. Psychiatr Q 90, 395–403 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11126-018-9615-2
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