The impact of “scary” TV and film on children's internalizing emotions: a meta-analysis

Pearce, Laura and Field, Andy (2016) The impact of “scary” TV and film on children's internalizing emotions: a meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 42 (1). pp. 98-121. ISSN 0360-3989

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (551kB)


Despite a general perception that violent or scary television creates anxiety in children, the research literature is small and disparate. A meta-analysis quantifies the impact of scary television and film on children's internalizing emotions (fear, anxiety, sadness, and sleep problems). Scary television has a relatively small impact on children's internalizing emotions (r = .18) overall, and this association was not significantly moderated by whether the televised material was factual (e.g., news) or fictional or contained violence. Children under 10 were more susceptible to scary TV. The overall result contrasts with the dramatic effects found for individual children within studies, suggesting that research is needed to unpick the factors that moderate the effect that scary television has on children.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2015 13:14
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 22:35

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update