Relationship Between Aggression and Violent Offending

What is the relationship between aggression and violent offending?


Aggression may be associated with violent crimes as homicide and rape, the meaning of this term deserves a much more extensive description and is in general a difficult concept to define. Whereas aggression is referring to causing harm, injury and destruction to another, this behaviour is also seen as a necessary adaptive device or an emergency mechanism (e.g., self-protection). It has several subtypes and degrees that eventually flow into each other and has thin lines to cross, between being positively or negatively used. “Violence sometime has been treated differently from aggression by criminologists, political scientists, public policy makers and the general public, whereas social psychologist see it as a subset of aggression” (Warburton & Craig, 2015). This causes ambiguity while reading researches or speaking to one another and therefor needs to be clarified. In order to gain a stronger understanding of these concepts, an attempt has been made to explain aggression, violence and violent offending differently. Causes of aggression and factors that may influence this behaviour are described through the most used and comprehensive theory which fits these concepts; the General Aggression Model (GAM), presented in figure 1. A theory that is commonly used and is a bundle of half a century research and philosophy. Each stage of the model has been looked into in order to make theoretical explanations or presumptions made by others or the writer himself. In the conclusion, we described what the possible outcomes could be of the factors that influence aggression negatively or positively. Throughout this paper the terms “aggression” and “aggressive behaviour”, as well as “violent offending” and “violent crimes”, are used interchangeably.Aggression and Violent Offending 

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Warburton & Craig (2015) argued that there are three key issues which are important to understand while defining human aggression. Firstly, researchers have used different clarifications and meanings what has resulted in definitions of aggressive behaviour that are hard to compare. One of the most common definitions found is by Bushman & Huesmann (2010), two leading professors in the field of Social Psychology. They stated that “aggression is any behaviour enacted with the intention to harm another person who is motivated to avoid that harm.” They suggested that a good addition to this definition would be that there is no free will included by the person who is being harmed. This will exclude any (sexual) deviate behaviour where there is a thrive to feel a certain level of pain, such as body suspension. Secondly, aggression is interchangeably used with related concepts such as anger, hostility and competitiveness. It is important to understand that aggression is referring to an emotional state. “Attitudes like wishing the worst for another, and motivations such as the desire to win or control one’s environment may contribute to a person behaving aggressively but are not aggression per se” (Warburton & Craig, 2015).  For example, a football coach who is coaching his players to play aggressively, is not instructing to harm other players. He is trying to get his team to operate on the thin line between playing hard but fair versus really aggressive and harmful. The term aggression is often in theory misused to contemplate a mindset. If the behaviour is applied correctly, fair play, then this could be seen as positive aggression. On the other hand, Richard (2009) claimed that some acts of violence are not criminal or even deviant. For example, violence in self-defence, violence by social control agents and violence in war are typically neither criminal nor deviant. Punishment made by police, parents of sometime teachers can be seen as appropriate. Needless to say, this is only allowed if people think the punishment is fitting the deviant behaviour. Striking is, when the punishment isn’t hard enough we condemn them that they are too lenient. They will be criticized if the wrong-doer will get away with it. Applied aggression seems a moral necessary. Thirdly, violence is interchangeably used with the term aggression. Misapplying this concept is causing again miscommunication and confusion among all disciplines.

A frequently found definition by Warburton & Craig (2015) states that “violence is aggression that is intended to cause harm extreme enough to require medical attention or to cause death.” Therefore, all violent behaviour could be labelled as aggression. Besides, nonphysical forms of aggression have earned the label ‘violence’ when the consequences are severe enough, “usually when directed at children or intimate partners with the goal of severely harming the target’s emotional or social well-being” (Allen & Anderson, 2017). These recent statements demonstrate that there is a shift in labelling aggression. The believe in a broader perception of the term aggression will cause even more ambiguity. Therefore, if this trend will continue most definitions need to be reviewed. A clarifying addition to the definition by Warburton & Craig (2015) of aggression is that medical treatment could be described as both physical and psychological. As one of the few, The World Health Organization [WHO] (2014) does include emotional violence in their definition. They describe it as, “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.” This definition provides a broader view in which violence can occur, describes three forms in which it can be feasible and in addition to that, it includes the results of violent behaviour. In their article regarding violence “A global public health problem” (WHO, 2014) they argued, that the nature of violent behaviour can be physical, sexual, psychological or involve deprivation or neglect. What WHO does not include but is occasionally found in the literature, is that damaging objects can be classified as violence. Allen & Anderson (2017) claimed that, “attacks on inanimate objects are classified as violence (e.g., the burning of cars or homes and the destruction of property), but the concept of aggression is often limited to attacks on people”. Striking, is that New Zealand legislation has a Crimes Act 1961; 307A: Threats of harm to people or property. This crime act combines behaviour that results in creating risk to the health of one or more people, major property damage, major economic loss to one or more persons or major damage to the national economy of New Zealand. Taking that into account, for causing damage to objects you could be sentenced with a crime act that includes harming people. This is a significant contradiction to what most research is showing and seems morally incorrect. Most common definitions of violence behaviour that are found do not included property damage or economic loss. Moreover, if you put this to the test by asking a person if he could choose between being sentenced for damaging an object or harming a person, they will definitely choose damaging an object. Instead of damaging an object, harming a person will never be tolerated by our society and could have a major impact on our career and life. For that reason, this crime acts could lead to severe consequences for a person’s future by “only” damaging an object. This does not feel socially responsible and justifiable.

If we zoom in on violent offending, violent behaviour and violent offending are clearly overlapping domains. As we described, not all violent behaviour can be considered as criminal behaviour but all violent crimes include violent behaviour. Crime involves rule breaking, whereas violence involves intentional harm-doing using physical force (Richard, 2009). To clarify and distinguish, “aggressive and violent behaviours are best conceptualized as being on a continuum of severity with relatively minor acts of aggression (e.g., pushing) at the low end of the spectrum and violence (e.g., homicide) at the high end of the spectrum.” (Allen & Anderson, 2017). In addition, violent behaviour does not have to cause actual harm to be classified as violent. Attempting to shoot someone, but missing, is still considered a violent act. You could distinguish violent crimes in two forms, indirect or direct cause of harm.  For example, theft and illicit drug use are crimes but do not directly evolve in violent behaviour. “Different types of crime involve different attitudes toward harm. Some offenders want to harm the victim (e.g., most assaults), some do not care (e.g., most robbery and property crimes).” (Felson, 2009).  Controversial is that some studies of rape illustrate findings that the primary intent of some rapists is not to harm the victim but rather to gain sexual gratification. Therefore, theoretical it could be considered as an indirect cause of harm. However, there is certainly a direct cause of harm to the victim. 

Through this brief summary we tried to explain aggression, violence and violent offending and their differences and similarities. But to gain even a stronger understanding of the relationship between aggression and violent offending, we need to understand which factors influence aggressive behaviour, directly or long-term. Therefore, a theory of aggression is needed to systematically deepen this relationship. Throughout the years multiple theories have developed to understand why aggressions is present in people. Some examples are: frustration–aggression theory (Dollard, Doob, Miller, Mowrer, & Sears, 1939); socioecological models (Heise, 1998); cognitive neoassociation theory (e.g., Berkowitz, 1989); social learning theory (e.g., Bandura, 1973; Mischel & Shoda, 1995); script theory (e.g., Huesmann, 1986); excitation transfer theory (e.g., Zillmann, 1983) and social interaction theory (e.g., Tede- schi & Felson, 1994). (Bushman, DeWall & Anderson, 2011). These theories have given vital knowledge into the reasons why people behave aggressive. However, it is not giving a broad framework to understand aggression in different contexts. Therefore, the most important theories are combined which resulted in the GAM. Each episodic stage of the cycle of the GAM is examined with respect to the relationship of aggression and violent offending. Hypothetically, factors that negatively influence aggression presume directly that there is a greater likelihood that someone could behave aggressively and, therefore, may get involved in violent crimes. Positive factors suggest the opposite. Someone should more likely capable to control aggression and may not get involved in violent crimes. More important, each episode of aggression or non-aggression serves as a learning trial that can influence the development of aggressive knowledge structures and thereby personality over time. The GAM includes both distal causes and processes and proximate causes and processes. The distal causes and processes are the biological and environmental factors, which contribute to the personality of a person. They operate in the back of each cycle and are either developed through genes or learned by experiences (scripts). The proximate causes and processes have three important stages to understand the cycle of aggression. Person and situation inputs, present internal states (i.e., cognition, arousal, affect), and outcomes of appraisal and decision-making processes. A feedback loop can influence future cycles of aggression, which can produce a violence escalation cycle (Anderson, Buckley & Carnagey, 2008).

Firstly, we will start looking into the distal causes and processes. There are multiple biological factors that could increase the likelihood of aggression. One of these factors is testosterone which is positively related to aggression. Researches showed that there is correlation between higher levels of testosterone and physical aggression in boys (Scerebo & Kolko, 1994). Which suggest that girls, who have significant less testosterone, are less likely to behave in a physical aggressive manner. Next to that, there is an association between cortisol, our stress hormone, and externalizing behaviour such as aggression. (Van Goozen, Fairchild, Snoek & Harold, 2007).  This suggests that a person who is only stressed but has violent behavioural scripts could be a direct danger for his environment. Other biological factors that can have a direct or indirect influence on aggressive behaviour are ADHD, low serotonin and low arousal. (Anderson, 2004).

Research demonstrated that environmental factors can increase the likelihood of developing aggression. “The first researches pointed to social inequality, poverty and the environment as the main reasons for the display of aggressive and criminal behavior.” (Buss & Okami, 1997). Which implies that the violent offending rate is lower in high social economic areas. Other early findings demonstrated that “consistent parental discipline increased positive parental involvement, and increased monitoring of the child’s activities are accompanied by significant reductions in a child’s antisocial behaviour.” (Farrington, 1978). Other important factors which could influence aggressive behaviour negatively are cultural norms supportive of violence, violent or group conflicts and chronic exposure to violent media (Anderson, 2004). A positive index of these factors would most likely result in a less aggressive outcome.

Secondly, we will start looking into the proximate causes and processes. Person factors are any individual differences that may influence how a person responds to a situation, e.g., characteristics with low self-esteem. A systematic review examined 19 studies, 12 of which were found low self-esteem to be related to violence (Walker & Bright, 2009). Presumably, low self-esteem could trigger anxiety, which in turn could resulted in a fight- or flight mode and could lead into aggression, e.g., used as a self-defence mechanism. Similar researches finding by Lee & Hankin (2009) argued that “negative emotions among people with low self-esteem, such as depression, anxiety, and anger may be predictive of aggression and violence”. (Lee & Hankin, 2009).  Next to that, research showed that aggressive behavioural scripts, moral justification of violence, certain personality disorders, narcissism and low agreeableness could lead to an increase of aggressive behaviour (DeWall, Anderson & Bushman, 2012). Situation factors are aspects of the situation that may influence whether aggression occurs. Many situation factors have been identified as an increasing factor for the likelihood of aggression. For example, data regarding heat and warm climate regions in de United States consistently showed that violent crime rates are higher than in colder regions (Anderson, 1989).  Next to heat, alcohol could be a negative influencer with regards to violent behaviour, this is a regular known factor for most of us and a major problem for our society. A Canadian general population study found that alcohol was present in roughly 38% of incidents involving serious arguments, 57% of incidents involving threats, and 68% of incidents involving physical aggression (Wells, Graham, & West, 2000). Other common factors are social stress, social rejection, bad moods, frustration and the presence of weapons (Anderson & Carnagey 2004).

Person and situation factors can be influenced by a person’s affect, cognition or arousal. These three variable types make up a person’s present internal state and changes in these variables could have an effect on the likelihood of aggression.

For example, research shows that individuals with a low IQ may be less able to successfully negotiate social relationships and situations, which result in a greater likelihood of violent offending (Farrington & Welsh, 2008).  Megreya (2015) showed that his study provides significant contributions to understand criminal behaviour. Large and strong deficits in EI were observed among offenders. Meaning, that a low EQ could have strong relations with violent offending. Furthermore, study towards arousal showed that men who are expressing minor sensitivity to their wives, were more likely to commit intimate partner violence compared to men who did. (Marshall & Holtzworth-Munroe, 2010).  

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The third stage of the proximate processes focuses on appraisal and decision processes, and on aggressive or nonaggressive outcomes. The person or group who appraises the situation will decide how to respond, the outcome of this action will influence the encounter, which again influences the person or group and situation factors. The episodic cycle will restart after this last stage. The violence escalation cycle is a good example of negative outcome of the third stage of the GAM. The violence escalation cycle demonstrates that retaliation, negative appraises and decision processes by the encounter person or group, could again trigger an aggressive outcome, which in turn could end in retaliation over retaliation by both sides. For example, a violence escalation cycle of two nations. Nation A tries to increase its power by invading a neighbouring country. Nation B, the neighbouring country, encounters this lack of respect of boundaries and a shoots one missile to show their strength but not to harm. Accidently, this missile kills a powerful person in nation A their government, who seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nation B is in state of mourning and retaliate in their turn to show the world their suffering and strength. They strike and shoot a missile in the main capital which kills a large number of innocent civilians. Several other neighbouring countries choose their alliances and the situation quickly gets out of control. The cycle persists through several iterations of violent actions in which one nation perceives its retaliation appropriate and justified, whereas the second unit perceives it to be inappropriate and exaggerated.


Researches demonstrate that aggression, “any behaviour enacted with the intention to harm another person who is motivated to avoid that harm” (Bushman & Huesmann, 2010), is used as a broader concept of violence and violent offending. It describes a large number of behaviours that could be either negatively or positively used by a person or group. Violence is often described as a subcategory of aggression that is intended to cause harm extreme enough to require medical attention or to cause death (Warburton & Craig, 2015). On the other end of the spectrum, findings show that violence can be used appropriate if it fits the deviant behaviour (e.g. self-protective) or against objects. Predominantly, the more severe the aggressive behaviour is, the more likely it will be described as violent behaviour or violent criminal behaviour. But due to different interpretations and definitions of these concepts by e.g., criminologists, psychologists, political scientists and public policy makers, there is unclarity among these concepts.Critically reviewing the relationship between aggression and violent offending showed that a person who is showing only minor aggression, could easily become violent influenced by the wrong conditions. Each stage of the GAM cycle showed that a broad spectrum of factors, through years or situational circumstances, can influence aggression majorly. Even a bad mood (Anderson & Carnagey 2004) could eventually lead into violent behaviour if this person has developed violent behavioural scripts throughout experiences in the past. An unequivocal answer why someone reacts aggressively eventually cannot be given but could partially tracked back by psychological researches using the GAM


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Buss, D. M., & Shackelford, T. K. (1997). Human Aggression in Evolutionary Psychological Perspective. Clinical Psychology Review, 17, 605-619.

DeWall, C. N., Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2013). Aggression. In I. Weiner (Ed.), Handbook of Psychology, 2nd Edition, Volume 5, 449-466. H. Tennen & J. Suls (Eds.), Personality and Social Psychology, New York: Wiley.

Dollard, J., Miller, N. E., Doob, L. W., Mowrer, O. H., & Sears, R. R. (1939). Frustration and aggression. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.

Farrington, D.P. (1978). The family backgrounds of aggressive youths. In: Hersov LA, Berger M, Shaffer D (eds). Aggression and Antisocial Behavior in Childhood and Adolescence (pp. 73–93). Oxford, United Kingdom: Pergamon Press.

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Marshall, A. D., & Holtzworth-Munroe, A. (2010). Recognition of wives’ emotional expressions: A mechanism in the relationship between psychopathology and intimate partner violence perpetration. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 21-30.

Megreya, A.M. (2015). Emotional Intelligence and Criminal Behavior, Journal Forensic Science, 60.

Mischel, W., & Shoda, Y. (1995). A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: Reconceptualizing situations, dispositions, dynamics, and invariance in personality structure. Psychological Review, 102, 246–268. Scerebo, A., & Kolko, D. (1994) Salivary testosterone and cortisol in disruptive children: Relationship to aggressive, hyperactive, and internalizing behaviors. Journal of the American Academic Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 33, 1174-1184.

Van Goozen, S.H.M., Fairchild, G., Snoek, H., & Harold, G.T. (2007). The evidence for a neurobiological model of childhood antisocial behaviour. Psychological Bulletin, 133, 149-182. 

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Figure 1.   The General Aggression Model (GAM)

Factors Causing Homegrown Violent Extremism

Research Question and Hypothesis Exercise


Homegrown violent extremism has become an increasingly complex threat in the intelligence community, with continual changes in defining this threat and new, preventive approaches in combatting the threat. The puzzle of defining an individual who becomes self-radicalized by various influences at various points in time and in different situations results in unclear definitions in this field of study. However, for purposes of this research, homegrown violent extremism, as defined on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website, states “homegrown violent extremists are global-jihad-inspired individuals who are based in the U.S., have been radicalized primarily in the U.S., and are not directly collaborating with a foreign terrorist organization”. Homegrown violent extremists, hereinafter called HVEs, are determined to radicalize to violence for multiple reasons and at different paces but tend to follow a radicalization continuum and show signs of mobilization at different points in the continuum. Radicalization is far from a black and white process, but rather a set of processes, and therefore has varying definitions. For the purpose of this research proposal, radicalization will be defined as “process of developing extremist ideologies and beliefs” (Borum 2012, 9).

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HVEs are currently the number one terrorism threat to the United States because finding a radicalized individual is like finding a needle in a haystack, and these radicalized individuals often go unnoticed until he or she reaches the resolve phase of the radicalization continuum wherein the individual commits a violent attack. If the HVE threat is the number one counter terrorism priority to the United States, the initial research area and general question of interest is what is the United States specifically doing to understand and address the evolving and increasingly difficult HVE problem? Expert researchers in this field of study agree that HVEs are very different than the members of Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) or al-Qaeda in that these ‘lone wolf’ actors tend to go through a “roughly predictable process of radicalization related to ideology”, and the radicalization process could happen very quickly or over the course of years (Klausen et al. 2016, 68). In addition, it is unknown if all HVEs experience radicalization in the same way.

Field research on homegrown violent extremism indicates there are multiple social science approaches to looking at the process of radicalization. Social movement theory is a framework through which radicalization can be viewed in that a social movement provides an identity through a large group of people who display discontent through collective behaviors (Borum 2012, 17). Another framework for viewing radicalization is through social psychology, which views radicalization as a group related phenomenon, states that these group atmospheres cultivate extremist views and thinking which illuminate terrorist behavior, also referred to as “group polarization” (Borum 2012, 20).  Lastly, a different paradigm to view radicalization is conversion theory, which depicts radicalization as a very personal, individual process through which an individual will convert their belief system into a radical ideology. Lewis Rambo describes conversion as having seven “stages”: context, crisis, quest, encounter, interaction, commitment, and consequence which ultimately come together to enhance the impact on the individual and reinforce their belief system (Borum 2012, 22-23).

The process in which a United States citizen is radicalized includes a multitude of factors, all of which vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and ideological attachment. The most important aspect of radicalization is how the threat is countered, which can only be identified through mobilization indicators – that is, the intelligence community will only know about an HVE if they expose themselves to others in their inner circle or display mobilization indicators that may lead to things like dry runs or verbalizing a resolve to commit violence against other people.

I am studying the threat of homegrown violent extremism in the United States because I want to find out the various factors that contribute to the dynamic of radicalization so that readers understand the influence of foreign terrorist organization propaganda on the homegrown violent extremist ultimately immersing the individual into radicalization and mobilization to violence. My tentative research question is “how are homegrown violent extremists in the United States radicalized by foreign terrorist organizations and a need for significance amongst personal grievances, and how might this impact the ability of the individual to deradicalize or mobilize to violence?” And my tentative purpose statement is “this paper examines paths to radicalization in the United States, and the various indicators or factors that contribute to individual vulnerability to radicalization by a foreign terrorist organization, including mobilization indicators and resolve to commit violence.

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Case studies of HVEs will help with measuring the influence that factors of radicalization have on an individual turning to homegrown violent extremism and ultimately conducting an attack against the United States. There are research studies in the field that identified rejection or ostracization by others as strong factors in ultimately “displaying irrational aggression against third parties not involved in the original rejection”, and these studies have allowed the same application of this concept to the risk factors in radicalization of HVEs (Jasko et al. 2017, 816). The various case studies available depict specific mobilization indicators as well as display opportunities for off-ramping/deradicalization from violence, and for this research project I would like to use homegrown violent extremism as the dependent variable in the study, defined earlier, to attempt to explain why HVEs radicalize and ultimately mobilize to violence. The independent variable here is the radicalization process; this proposal aims to show the influence or effect of radicalization processes on the individual that causes an HVE to mobilize and commit a violent attack against the United States.

 I plan to measure the impact that the radicalization process has on the homegrown violent extremist by looking at the radicalization continuum which includes introduction, immersion, frustration, and resolve, as well as analyzing the dynamics of radicalization (personal grievances, community, global incidents, ideologies). Therefore, it is likely the relationship between these two variables will show the tendency or likelihood of an individual becoming radicalized. The proposed hypothesis of this paper is: if an individual or group displays vulnerability to radicalization based on risk factors, then the individual or group is more likely to adopt a violent form of action directly linked to an extremist ideology and display indicators of mobilization to conduct a violent attack.The HVE phenomenon and the lack of clarity in the radicalization process is an increasingly concerning threat now and for the future, not only because of the inspired Islamic extremist ideology which has been around and freely available for a long time, but the rise of terrorist organizations and other extremists using social media promoting terrorist attacks with propaganda, all of which is inflated by the sheer number of al-Qaeda and ISIS supporters that exist across the world (Zekulin 2016, 47).


Borum, Randy. “Radicalization into Violent Extremism I: A Review of Social Science Theories.” Journal of Strategic Security 4, no. 4 (2012): 7-36. DOI:

Jasko, Katarzyna, Gary LaFree, and Arie Kruglanski. 2017. “Quest for Significance and Violent Extremism: The Case of Domestic Radicalization.” Political Psychology 38 (5): 815–31. DOI:10.1111/pops.12376.

Klausen, Jytte, Selene Campion, Nathan Needle, Giang Nguyen, and Rosanne Libretti. 2016. “Toward a Behavioral Model of ‘Homegrown’ Radicalization Trajectories.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 39 (1): 67–83. doi:10.1080/1057610X.2015.1099995.

Zekulin, Michael. 2016. “Endgames: Improving Our Understanding of Homegrown Terrorism.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 39 (1): 46–66. DOI:10.1080/1057610X.2015.1084161.

Effect of Violent Television on Young People and Children

Violent Television Affect Children and Adolescent’s Behaviors
According to Sujala S.Nair and P.E Thomas (2012)”Violent can be defined as something which is intended to hurt or kill or it can be just physical or emotional force and energy.”Television program has a big influence in our life. The violent act in the television program can be a powerful influence in the children and adolescent’s behavior. This is because children unable to distinguish violent act in television program is harmful for them. This may seriously cause the development of their childhood. Unfortunately, nowadays much of television program is include violent act.

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According to many studies report, violent cartoon television program will make children who under the age of 7 may imitate cartoon violence because they may not be able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality. As of 1990, the average of American child aged 2 to 5 years was watching television over 27 hours per week. This may cause the children watching the violent television program will influence them. This might not be bad if the children understood what they are watching. However, mostly children are unable to distinguish fact from fantasy in all the television program. In the minds of children thinks that television is a source of entirely factual information regarding how the world works. When they get older, they may know better. But the earliest and deepest impressions were put down when the child were saw the television as a factual sources of information about a world outside their homes where violence is a daily commonplace and the commission of violence is generally powerful, exciting, charismatic, and efficacious. Serious violent is mostly erupt at the moments of severe stress and it is precisely at such moment that adolescents and adults are most likely to their earliest, most visceral sense of what violent is and what its role is in society. Most of this sense will have come from television.
Another background for children with aggressive behavior are beginning in the mid-1960s, psychologist Leonard Eron and colleagues followed a group of children they are eight years old then observing their behavior. The study, one of the most extensive ever done, would span three decades and uncover some of the strongest evidence that too much TV can harm children. Not only was there is a relationship between watching violent television program were more likely to be the ones identified by teachers and friends as a aggressive kids in school. When revisited at ages 18, researchers again found that the aggressive behavior is related to the early television viewing habits of the children. Finally, the 30 years old adults are related between aggressive behavior and TV viewing habits again observed. Actually, researchers reported proof that tied television viewing habits developed early in life to arrests for violent crimes. Be just like violence act have been seen on TV contributes to aggression. Equivalent, non violent television program are containing messages of tolerance and cooperation can inspire pro-social. In addition, another one is about the person who studied the influence of television program by observing by 100 children. The children were separate into three groups. One was shown Batman and Superman cartoons then the second group is shown Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Then the last group are shown neutral program with neither violent or pro-social messages. Once again show that the relationship between violent act in TV program and aggressive behavior was apparent.The result show that the children exposed to the Batman and Superman cartoons were more likely to get into fights, play roughly, and break toys. On the other hand, children who watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood tended toward positive behaviors and dislike classmates who watched the superhero cartoons. Furthermore, they were more likely to show sensitivity, offer help to teachers. play cooperatively and express concern about other children’s feelings.
The problem is because of the acceleration rate of cases in violent TV influence children and adolescent’s behaviors such as violent crime. Television violence has the greatest potential for both short-term and long-term effect upon children. In light of all the situations where children are affected negatively by viewing violence, there is a need for a study of the effects of television violence on children.
The effect of violent television program on children and adolescent’s behaviors is poorly understood. The objective of this research is to collect data for analysis and interpret the result that can know more in detail about the effect of violent act in television program on children and adolescent’s behaviors.
Research Question
1. Do you think that violence act on television show will make children act violently after watching it?
Yes ( ) No ( )
2. Do you think children can be protected against violence on TV?
Yes ( ) No ( )
3. Do you think that school violence is influenced by the television program?
Yes ( ) No ( )
4. Do you think restrict children watching TV can reduce children influence by violent
television program?
Yes ( ) No ( )
5. Do you think violent on television is a problem?
Yes ( ) No ( )
Literature Review
Nowadays, television has become as a indispensable device in our daily life. Almost everyone has at least one set of television at home. Television has a big influence in our life especially for children. Violent act in the television program can be a powerful influence in the children and adolescent’s behavior. This is because children unable to distinguish violent act in television program is harmful for them. This may seriously cause the development of their childhood.
Bandura (1965) claimed that children can learn new behavior in one or two ways. They would learn it by direct experiences through trial and error or by observing and imitating others social environment. Children who are emotional, behavioral, learning or impulse control problems may be more easily influence by violence television. Children watching violent television program can make them more aggressive. Furthermore, children also may leave fearful or make them less sensitive to real violence and its consequences after watching violent television program. The three potential harmful effects of expose to television violence are the learning of attitudes and behavior, desensitization are because of all the exposure to television violent. Therefore, children become desensitized to violence and perhaps a tendency develops on violence in their own lives to solve problems
According to many studies report, violent cartoon television program will make children who under the age of 7 may imitate cartoon violence because they may not be able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality. Cartoon violence meant for a youthful audience as opposed to animated films for adults such as Heavy Metal are tend to involve minor acts of violence. Although many violent cartoon meant for youthful consumption contain comedic elements but some of the cartoons just portray the violence. Presence or absence of comedy during violence is important consideration when evaluating the effects if viewing cartoons on children or youth. Watching violent cartoon or any violent television program are affects children’s attitudes towards violence. If children watching too much of violent television program may affect the ways a person thinks and behaves later in life, even as an adolescent and adult. The effects may be long-lasting.
Children who watching violence movies or any violence TV program at young age are more easily to become aggressiveness and criminal behavior at later years. According to a longitudinal study (Huesmann, 1986) have the a same sample of chidren were tested over a 22 year period. The researchers measured the television viewing habits and aggressive behavior at three different stage of age in time which is when the participants were 8, 19 and 30 years of age. The research are show the relationship between exposure to TV violence at age 8 and self-reported aggression at age 30. Therefore, children watching violent television program on the early childhood were significant predictor of the seriousness of criminal acts performed at about age 30. In conclusion, early childhood television habits are correlated positively with adult criminally independent of other likely causal factors.
The focus of this preliminary of this research was primarily on analysis about the violence television program affect on children, adolescent and even adult. A detailed questionnaire was developed aimed at determining the effect of violence act in television program on children. Five question are used to determine predictor or impact variables. These are show in page ( ) . The first three questions asked about the children after watching violence television program can make them change to violence behavior even at older age and children can be protected against violent on TV or not. Moreover, the fourth question are asked about the restrict children watching violent TV program are the best choice to reduce cases of children, adolescent’s violence behavior. The fifth questions are asked about the thinking question as the violent on television program are the problem to children. The questionnaire are used the methods is internet surveys. While these methods is clearly the most cost effective and fastest methods of distributing a survey.
Steven J.Kirsh( 2005). Cartoon violence and aggression in youth. Retrieved from:
Sujala S.Nair and P.E Thomas( 2012). A Thematic study on the cause and effects of Television Violence on Children. Retrieved from:
Slotsve, del Carmen, Sarver,and Watkins (2008) .Television Violence and Aggression. Retrieved from:

Violent Crime Can Be a Method for Young Men to Achieve Masculinity

Collier (2004) states that ‘The relationship between men, masculinities, and crime has, over the past decade, assumed an increasing prominence within criminology.’ This essay will explore the idea that men use violent crime in order to achieve masculinity. This essay will use Connell’s theory of hegemonic masculinity (1995) as a main theory in relating masculinity and violent crime. In addition to this, it will also look at power and how power shapes masculinity in society. Also, the idea that there has been a crisis of masculinity will be discussed and how this is able to link masculinity and violent crime together. Also, the environment of prisons will also be analysed and how these environments are a crucial place for men to assert their masculinity and gain status amongst the other inmates. In all, this essay will discuss the idea that the use of violent crime is a part of the male gender that men use to achieve masculinity, which is now seen as acceptable in society today.

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Generally, masculinity is the set of social and psychological characteristics that a society considers to be typical or suitable for men. Individually, masculinity is what an individual man believes it is to be a man. Connell (1995) argues it is more suitable to discuss masculinities rather than masculinity because what it means to be a masculine can change due to time, place and the individual.

In society, crime is viewed as an activity that is generally carried out by men aged between 15 and 25 year olds. Men are more likely to commit violent crimes, sexual crimes and robberies compared to women. It is stressed that males are more likely to be repeat offenders and end up in prison several times. This may be due to the fact that they are carrying out violent behaviours in order to achieve masculinity and a sense of power and control for themselves to inflict upon their peers and enemies as a way to show that they are in control. These type of behaviours are most likely to be carried out on those individuals who struggle economically and socially.

When looking at the idea that young men carry out violent behaviour to achieve masculinity, a question to ask is why men? Cohen (1955) answers this and states that ‘Delinquency is mostly male delinquency.’ This theory would suggest that males are most likely to carry out violent behaviour in comparison to females. This idea is further supported by Braithwaite (1989) who highlights that ‘Crime is committed disproportionately by men.’ Another reason why men are more likely to carry out violent crimes is explained by Silversti and Crowther-Dowey (2008) who state that men are more likely to be stopped and searched, arrested, remanded in custody and more likely to end up in prison. This suggets that because men feel that they are viewed negatively by others in society, they will act on this assumption and carry out the violent behaviours which they believe will allow them to achieve masculinity.

Connell (1995) highlights that there are five different types of masculinities. These include the ‘Hegemonic Masculinity’ which is seen as the most dominant masculinity in any social setting, which most men desire to be. Only a minority of men will achieve this type of masculinity. Second, ‘Complicit Masculinity’ which is viewed as men who do not conform to the hegemonic ideal, but they still benefit from the presence of the dominant male. These types of males recognise that their place in society is not one of dominance, but they are happy to benefit from the side-line due to the dominance of the hegemonic male. Following this, the next type of masculinity in the hierarchy is ‘Subordinated Masculinity.’ These men are marginalised both physically and socially. Connell (1995) states that this type of dominance can take place in various ways including political exclusion, cultural exclusion, street violence, cultural abuse and economic discrimination. Connell further argues that the dominance of the heterosexual male and the subordination of homosexual males is the best way to describe this type of masculinity in society today. The next type of masculinity in the hierarchy is ‘Marginalised Masculinity’ who are often the non-white population who are from a low socio-economic class. These type of men are often marginalised because of the expression of the dominant hegemonic male. However, it is seen that they may display characteristics of hegemonic masculinity as a response to their marginalisation. Finally, the lowest masculinity seen in the hierarchy is ‘Protest Masculinity.’ Marginalised masculinities often look at the rebellious behaviour of young men. Connell (1995) argues that with these marginalised men, protest masculinity can exist. He argues that protest masculinity is built on the foundations of working class solidarity, which is viewed as a main element of marginalised masculinity. Protest masculinities embody a claim to power at a regional level, but do not have the economic resources and the authority to achieve this goal. As a result of this, these type of masculine’s can display aggressive behaviour, as well as self-destructive, risk-taking behaviour. From this, violence is an available resource which can be used by young men in order to show others their manhood and authority. Overall, all men desire to become the hegemonic masculine with their social context.

Arguing Connell’s theory, Messerschmidt (1993) argues that hegemonic masculinity is an expression of masculinity characterised by ‘authority, control, competitive individualism, independence, aggressiveness and the capacity for violence.’ He argues that men strive to achieve and purport a masculine gender identity, a presentation to the wider audience that they are a man. In order to achieve this identity, they use various resources such as violence. Messerschmidt (1993) labels this as ‘doing masculinity.’ He highlights that when normal middle-class expressions of masculinity are unavailable, men often turn to criminality as an alternative.

Freud explains masculinities through observations. Freud (1933) highlights the ‘Oedipus Complex’ where boys aged three to six initially have sexual desire for the mother but this is then removed by the fear of the father. Freud (1933) also points out the ‘Wolf Man’ where boys are forming into young men and become jealous of the mother as she is able to humiliate them. The young man then has a desire for his father and wants to display the same characteristics as the father as he will feel that this is appropriate behaviour. Following this, Gorer (1964) argues that ‘all niceties of masculine behaviour- modesty, politeness, neatness, cleanliness – come to be regarded as concessions to feminine demands, and not good in themselves as part of the behaviour of a proper man.’ This would suggest that men from a young age need to display violent behaviour in order to be seen as what it means to be a ‘man’

Freud’s work can be critiqued due to the fact that he did not continue with the focus of social influences on the construction of masculinity. Freud was an essentialist and believed that there are only two normative models of development – boy and girl. He does not include the considerations of race, culture, ethnics or class in explaining masculinity. Chodorow (1994) criticises Freud and argues that his psychoanalysis is criticised because of the presence of ‘normative masculinity, masculine bias, devaluation of women, homophobia and heterosexism.’

Furthermore, it is stated that violent crime and masculinity are linked in how males participate in the creation of their perceived reality. West and Zimmerman (1987) argue that gender does not come naturally to individuals, it is performed. This theory can help understand the idea that individuals have a perceived idea of what it means to be a man. This is further argued my Meidzian (1991) who states that the idea of what we believe it is to be a man is often reflected in the media. Men can often look at strong male figures in the media and have a desire to be like them as they portray the role of the hegemonic male, the strongest masculinity. The violent behaviour of strong dominant males portrayed in the media may result in young men mirroring this behaviour as they will want to become the most dominant male in their society and will feel that carrying out this behaviour is appropriate due to the dominant males shown in the media and how they behave and act.

Another way that young men can use violence to gain masculinity is due to the idea that they have been exposed to this idea from a young age through the education system. Garner (2013) highlights that male students are more interested in football and fighting rather than reading and writing. This supports the idea that young males see that violence is acceptable from a young age. Since this idea that young men see violence as acceptable behaviour to achieve masculinity in education, this will also be evident in the societal context. This is further supported by the research carried out by Giddens (2009) in which it is stated that marital rape was only seen as a criminal offence in 1991. This shows that violent behaviour is seen as socially acceptable by individuals and as a way for males to gain gender power and influence over females. Although it is known that males are more powerful than females, Connell states that there is a hierarchy within both genders with hegemonic being at the top. This is backed up by Zdun (2008) who highlights the idea that females need to have a male defender. By females wanting this male defender, they are accepting that they are further down in the hierarchy compared to men. Women are conforming to the idea that it is acceptable for young men to carry out violent behaviour as a way to gain masculinity as they want a companion who will be able to defend and protect them so that they can feel that they have power and control themselves.

Violence and masculinity have always been used as a mechanism in order to assert power and control. Individuals feel that they need to come together and be part of a community and so they follow natural gender norms and accept the idea that males are more powerful than females and are able to display power and control over them. An example of this is fighting amongst males which may be unacceptable by those who have power and status, but acceptable by the individuals who are from a socio-economic deprived area. Katz (2003) argues that young men who feel neglected by society often use violence to assert their masculinity and show that they have power even though they may be further down in the hierarchy of masculinities. This idea is further supported by Gilligan (2010) who points out that males may use violence as a way to gain masculinity because they feel shameful because of their deprived background. This shows that if violence is to show power and control, then these young men are often disadvantageous in having power and control in other areas of their masculinity identity to gain the status of the hegemonic male. Crosset (2000) suggests that men understand each other and the idea that they need to use violence in order to achieve their masculine status. This could also suggest that men feel it is vital and necessary to participate in violence in order to be seen as acceptable and respected in society amongst other males. This stresses the idea that the violent characteristics that males display and act on are inevitable as they want to be able to assert their masculinity upon others.

It is also argued in society there is a ‘crisis of masculinity’ where males have become uncertain regarding their gender identity. Kubrin and Weitzer (2003) discuss the social disorganisation theory which shows how the acceptance of diversity and improvements for female equality causes a threat to masculinity. Brod (1987) states that the use of violent crime in a sure way to achieve ‘masculine identity.’ This will assure the individual and others of their masculine status. This crisis is masculinity supports the argument that violent crime is a way for young men to achieve masculinity. However, Mac an Ghaill (1994) argues against this idea and state that hegemonic masculinity is unrealistic and that the crisis of masculinity is more of a problem due to this issue.

In prisons, there are often various forms of violence and more masculine identities due to the inmates due to the idea that prisons create violent masculinity. This is due to the fact that men in prisons often use violence as a method to defend themselves from other inmates and their masculine identity if it has become questioned by others. Carribine and Longhurst (1998) state that prisons facilitate hegemonic masculinities, and if inmates are unable to achieve anything else, they will often turn to violence. Sabo et al (2001) supports this idea and states that violent confrontations in prisons are a way to gain status and power over the other inmates. However, in prison the hegemonic masculine identity can become threatened due to the commonness of homosexuality in prisons. Homosexuality can also be used as a violent way to achieve masculinity within prisons as this can be used as a form of sexual violence against those who are heterosexual which contrasts with society where being homosexual is seen as being feminine and the inferior sexuality.

Overall, society has different views on what it means to be masculine. In society, it is evident that violence is a way to achieve masculinity as a way to assert power and control, especially those who struggle in the class system and struggle economically. It can be argued that males should not be imprisoned and marginalised from society because of the behaviours that they have carried out which they see as acceptable in society and as a way to achieve masculinity. Instead, society should have a bigger influence on these individuals and help rehabilitate and reform them into citizens who can carry out acceptable behaviour and follow the rules and regulations of society. However, it is also important that the individual takes responsibility for their actions and is willing to reform themselves on order to become a better individual that will fit into society. In order to help achieve this, there should be more awareness made by those have a great influence in the lives of young men in regards to the behaviour that is carried out such as lead male characters in the media. It is also important that society plays a role in helping reduce this violent crime as a way to achieve masculinity, to do this, it is vital that society takes into the account the circumstances of the individual who committed the crime as the may have a deprived background and feel that violence is the only option for them to gain control. Society will be able to help rehabilitate the individuals and make them a better law abiding citizen. This will help reduce the levels of violent crime that is being carried out.




Braithwaite, J. 1989, Crime, Shame and Reintegration, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Brod, H. 1987, “The Case For Men’s Studies” in The Making Of Masculinities, ed. H. Brod, Allen and Uwin, Boston.

Carbine, E. & Longhurst, B. 1998, “Gender and Prsion Organisation: Some Comments On Masculinties and Prison Management” in Howard Journal Of Criminal Justice, ed. W. Blackwell, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, pp. 161-176.

Chodorow, N. 1994, Feminities. Masculinities. Sexualties. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Cohen, A. 1955, Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang, Chicago Free Press, Chicago.

Collier, R. (2004) ‘Masculinities and Crime: Rethinking the “man question”, in C. Summer (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Criminology. Blackwell, Oxford

Connell, R.W. 1995, Masculinities, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Crosset, T. 2000, “Athletic Affiliation and Violence Against Women: Towards a Structural Prevention Project” in Masculinities, Gender Relations and Sport, ed. D. Sabo, Sage, London.

Freud, S. 1933, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, W.W. Norton, New York.

Garner, R. 2013, , Exclusive: Treat White Working Class Boys Like Ethnic Minority, Willets Tells Universities [Homepage of The Independent], [Online]. Available: [2018, November 22nd].

Giddens, A. 2009, Sociology, 6th edn, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Gilligan, J. 2010, “Violence: Our Deadly Epidemic and Its Causes” in The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Socities Almost Always Do Better, ed. R.P. Wilkinson K., 2nd edn, Allen Lane, London.

Gorer, G. 1964, The American People: A Study in National Character, W.W. Norton, New York.

Katz, J. 2003, “Advertising And The Construction Of Violent White Masculinity” in Gender, Race and Class in Media, ed. G.H.J.M. Dines, Sage, California.

Kubrin, C. & Weitzer, R. 2003, “New Directions In Social Disorganisation Theory”, vol. 40, pp. 374-402.

Mac an Ghaill, M. 1994, The Making Of Men: Masculinities, Sexualties and Schooling, Open University Press, Buckingham.

Messerschmidt, J.W. 1993, Masculinites and Crime: Critique and Reconceptualisation of Theory, Rowman and Littlefield.

Miedzian, M., 1991, Boys Will Be Boys: Breaking The Link Between Masculinity and Violence, Doubleday, New York.

Sabo, D., Kupers, T. & London, W. 2001, Prison Masculinities, Temple University Press, Philadelphia.

Silversti, M. & Crowther-Downey, C. 2008, Gender and Crime, Sage, London.

West, C. & Zimmerman, D.J. 1987, “Gender and Society” in Doing Gender Sage, California, pp. 125-151.

Zdun, S. 1987, “Violence in Street Culture: Cross-Cultural Comaprsion of Youth Groups and Criminal Gangs” in New Directions For Youth Development, ed. John Wiley and Sons LTD, Periodicals INC, pp. 119.


Violent Video Games Children

The Effects of Violent Video Games on Children
Computer video game is one of the most popular trends among children as well as young adults. From the time it was invented it has evolved into a more exciting and challenging media games of all time. The technological advancement has made it even more exciting for the players to religiously play and challenge themselves of what are the things in store for them while they are playing. The graphics and sound effects fascinate its audience, as if they are really there in the setting of the situation, especially those three dimensional computer machines which are seen mostly in computer arcades. The ability of the player to control and maneuver the situation made it more even exciting. Violent video games have been one of the most sought themes among the players. But with the increasing number of people engaged into this computer games, a lot of issues has also been raised, as to the negative effect and the benefit of these violent video games to children and young adults. This essay will argue that violent video games do have a negative effect on children.

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Early experiments using physiological measures of arousal such as: galvanic skin response, heart rate and respiratory changes found that children are emotionally responsive to even animated television violence. The effects of violent video games on young adult’s arousal levels and aggressive thoughts have been measured. Results indicated that college students who had played virtual reality game had a higher heart rate and exhibited more aggressive thoughts in a post test, than those who played a non-violent game (Grossman & DeGaetano 70-71). These physiologic changes stimulate the sympathetic system which creates excitement and this “good” feeling makes them to do it repeatedly.
Similarly, as cited in an article in AllPsych Journal entitled, The Psychological Effects of Violent Media on Children, The Academy of Pediatrics states “More than one thousand scientific studies and reviews conclude that significant exposure to media violence increases the risk of aggressive behavior in certain children, desensitizes them to violence and makes them believe that the world is a ‘meaner and scarier’ place than it is” (Tompkins). According to Tompkins, if children become accustomed and believed that this violent behavior is acceptable and normal it will be hard to change that belief as they grow older. She also relates this to the study of domestic violence where in a person exposed to this violence tend to be either abused or abuser. She further explains this by citing the Columbine incident as an example, where in the two students, who committed a violent act are video fanatics. Their exposure to violence was linked to their violent act since both of them came from a good family. Moreover, “reward increases imitation” (Gentile 136). And this process of rewarding in computer games makes it more addicting because children tend to be reinforced when they are rewarded, which in psychology termed as “positive reinforcement” but this reward system in computer games defeats the true purpose of “positive reinforcement”, that good acts should be rewarded in order to reinforce the action, where as computer rewarding rewards its players after killing or defeating their opponent.
Furthermore, “Participation in violent video games cast a negative cloud over the children’s views of interpersonal interactions. One research revealed that preschoolers most likely experienced fear and anxiety when they saw bloodied victims and watched expressions of emotional distress in connection with the media’s constant showing of the events of September 11th and their aftermath” (Cantor, 2002). These experiences that are internalized by children, unconsciously affects their behavior, and when they are placed in situations similar to what they have seen, the child could become anxious and restless.
On the contrary there are opposing reaction from different sectors regarding this matter, the president of the Interactive Software Association, Doug Lowenstein stated, “I think the issue has been vastly overblown and overstated often by politicians and other’s who do not fully understand, frankly this industry. There is absolutely no evidence, none, that playing a violent game leads to aggressive behavior” (qtd in Bushman & Anderson 353). But how can we expect them to see the negative effect of these violent video games, well in fact what they mean is purely business. Likewise, Steven Johnson said: “The most debased forms of mass diversion-video games and violent television dramas and juvenile sitcoms-turn out to be nutritional after all (9). It is nutritional in the sense that learning comes along while playing these violent video games, such as mastery and control and hand-eye coordination. But this paper totally disagrees with this notion. There are more appropriate ways of learning these things, without jeopardizing the minds of these children of what is good and what is wrong, such as art camps, and other indoor and outdoor activities that utilizes the body, where in physical, psychological and emotional aspects are given importance, which builds friendship and the values of sportsmanship, as well as maintaining a healthy active body, which computer games don’t give. Furthermore, computer video games promote isolation, aggressive behavior and a sedentary life style by sitting long hours in front of these computers.
In conclusion, violent video game has a significant effect on children, not only on their behavior but also on their physiologic state as well as the emotional state – especially that of a vulnerable individual. The government sector should be more critical and sensitive on how to protect its citizen with this kind of media. Parent’s on the other hand, who have the first hand decision whether to buy this violent video games or not, since they are responsible in giving money or buying this for their children, and what ever decision they would take they should know the consequences of the possible effects of these materials to their children. And users of this video games should be reminded that everything in excess is not good.
Annotated Bibliography
Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman. “Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: a Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature.” Psychological Science 12.5 (2001): 353-359. Apr. 2008
Dr. Craig A. Anderson, a professor and chairman of Department of Psychology in Iowa State University. He is a distinguished professor and Director of the center for the study of violence. Most of his current researches focus on aggression especially on the potentially harmful effect of exposure to violent entertainment media. Dr. Brad J. Bushman, a professor in University of Michigan, has a PhD in social psychology in University of Missouri. His focuses are the consequences and causes of aggression. In this research, the authors used methods such as literature search literature, criteria for relevance, coding frame and meta-analytic procedures, to test if violent video games will result to increase aggression in children and young adult. They found out that after conducting the experiment using experimental and non-experimental designs, in both male and female, that it poses public health threat to children and youths including college individuals. Exposure is negatively associated with prosocial behavior, and the long term effect on the development of aggressive behavior is absolutely related to exposure to violent video games. This is in contrast to the study made by Tompkins in 2003, which shows no proof that signifies either negative or positive effect of media violence. It is important in this research as it illuminates the side taken by this paper.
Cantor, Joanne. “The Psychological Effects of Media Violence on Children and Adolescents.” Joannecantor. 19 Apr. 2002. HEC Montreal. 19 Apr. 2008 .
Joanne Cantor is an expert on the effects of the mass media on youth. A Professor Emerita and Director of the Center for Communication Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a well-known expert on children and the mass media. Joanne Cantor and her associates have conducted a program of research to explore developmental differences in media-induced fright reactions based on theories and findings in cognitive development. This study illustrates the effects of media events and images are less bothering on older children, where as other things become potentially more upsetting. This gives another highlight to the side taken by this research that there is a significant negative effect on the part of the children.
Gentile, Douglas A. “Media Violence and Children: a Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals”. London: Praeger Publications, 2003.
Douglas Gentile, a known developmental psychologist and a research director for the National Institute on Media and the Family. He conducts many researches about children and adult. In this book, he contends that learning comes from repetition. The fact that the violent games require violent acts to be played over and over again creates an ideal learning situation. But what the players are learning is antisocial behavior and the idea that violence is a good way to resolve conflict. He used data from other books, studies made by different authors, and other references in order to come up with a book that serves as guideline for parents and professional with regards to the effect of media violence to children. One important insight was when he said that the difference between television and computer games when it comes to the response of the individual is that violence in televisions are rarely sustained, because of commercial gaps and changing of scenes, in contrast to video games where violence is continuous. Where in players should always be alert for hostile enemies and must constantly choose and enact aggressive behaviors, exposing children to continual stream of violent scene. In contrast with the book of Grossman and DeGaetano, where in the authors were more subjective of the subject matter; by trying to make a call and make action on media violence, Douglas A. Gentile showed neutrality on the issue and focused more on how to guide parents and professionals decide on the issue after presenting the data’s.
Grossman, Dave, and Gloria Degaetano. “Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: a Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence”. First ed. New York: Crown, 1999.
LT. Col. Dave Grossman, who is a retired US Army and a professor of military science in Arkansa State University. He is the author of On Killing: Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, and specialized in the study of psychology of killing, which he called “killology.” Gloria DeGaetano is a known educator in the field of media violence, and the author of Screen Smarts: A Family Guide To Media Literacy. The authors, used data’s from different resources: books, journals, researches of different authors, in order to come up with a book which calls for an action against T.V.., movie and video game violence… The book talks about different factors as to the effect of media violence on children. They are very much concern of the negative effects of this violence in media as well as video games to children. They presented in their book the negative effects of media violence to society, that in reality there are a lot of children and teenagers engage themselves into violent acts, and the disadvantages that this gives to the individual, their family and the society. This research used this book, because it gives a distinct description on what this paper is trying to point out, that there is significant negative effect on the child’s behavior, it does not only gave comprehensive details, but the insights of the authors made it more meaningful.
Johnson, Steven. Everything Bad is Good for You. Canada: Riverhead Books, 2005.
Steven Johnson, who is a well-known author Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life, and a distinguish writer in New York, put emphasis on his book that violence on television and video games are not really bad for children. For the author, the kind of education that video games are giving is not learned in classroom situations or cannot be seen in museums. There are benefits in playing violent computer games. He wants to tell the reader that the learning in computer games enhances cognitive faculties, not dumbing them down. In his book, he made comparison between reading books and playing video games. According to him, reading books or novels enhance our imagination, while playing video games help you to choose the right decision by evaluating facts, examining situation, and by considering your long term goals. In contrast with the study made by Bushman and Anderson and that of Joanne Cantor, where in the two believed that there is significant negative effect of violent video games on children.
Tompkins, Aimee. “The Psychological Effects of Violent Media on Children.” AllPsych Journal (2003). 20 Apr. 2008 .
Aimee Tompkins used the reports of the studies made by the Academy of Pediatric Society, The National Coalition on Television violence and cited stories where in violent video game fanatics were involved in shooting incidents and killing people, in order to assess the psychological effects of violent media on children. After presenting and analyzing the studies made, the author concluded that there was no proof either positive or negative long term outcomes of violent media and that parent’s should pay more attention on the activities of their children. In contrast on the result of the study made by Bushman & Anderson, that there is a significant effect on the behavior of children by increasing their aggression. This study was given importance in this essay because it gave another perspective on the issue discussed.

Issue of Marketing Violent Video Games to Kids

Marketing Violent Video Games to Kids

In today’s generation, video games have become a major part of children’s lives.  Unfortunately for parents, video games have been created with goals to kill, steal, and participate in illegal and dangerous activities.  Research done on this type of entertainment tends to indicate it fosters violent behavior.  “Playing video games mimics the kinds of sensory assaults humans are programmed to associate with danger and that the threat does not have to be real — it only needs to be a perceived danger for the brain and body to react” Dunckley (2016, para. 14).

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“The creators of Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar Games, are somewhat in fact, the rock stars of the video game industry” (Simmonds, 2013, para. 3).  The Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series is their most notable game.  It is a third-person game that puts the player in control of a person looking to move up in the ranks of the criminal world by participating in and completing in many illegal activities.  This game is one of, if not the most criticized games on the market today.  Many organizations and groups have cried foul with the marketing of this game to the children and the game producer has gone about it with some ethical issues. 

There are a couple ethical issues that can be addressed regarding the marketing of Rockstar Games’ GTA.  Utilitarianism can be argued from the game producer’s point of view, as well as the consumers.  They are out there with the intent of grabbing a market share that will make them enough money to satisfy their shareholders.  Producing “the greatest good for the greatest number” is a major concern for a company like Rockstar Games. Of course, this does not always sit well with the stakeholders.  Research has implied that this game leads to increased violence, less respect for women and minorities, and more likely to participate in crimes and communicate with prostitutes. These actions cannot be seen as a greater good for anyone. 

According to Perrault, Jr., Cannon, & McCarthy (2014), “Marketing managers should be concerned with social responsibility – a firm’s obligation to improve its positive effects on society and reduce its negative effects” (p. 23-24).  Children are learning everyday how to interact with others, whether it be from the parents, teachers, friends, television, and now, video games.  In order to become a better person, kids should engage in activities that promote a healthy and prosperous existence.  Playing a video game like GTA, does not promote such behavior.  As previously stated it is a game that involves the player to interact with prostitutes, steal cars, and commit murder.  Activities like these do not, in any way, influence a person in a good way. 

There were no laws or regulations in place, which could be found, restricting the sale or marketing these type games to our children.  The game industry does, however, have a self-regulating body in place that is responsible for the enforcement of its rating system.  This body is known as the Electronic Software Rating Board (ESRB). ESRB is in place to ensure any game publisher rated by this system is disclosing all content required to rate the game.  This also includes any hidden codes in the game that may not be playable.

Game publishers that carry the ESRB rating are also legally bound to follow the principles and guidelines for marketing and advertising practices.  They are also compelled to comply with the requirements of how the rating information is displayed on the packaging.  The advertising restrictions of where ads may be placed for games that have teen, mature, and adult ratings are also enforced by the ESRB system.

The ESRB does have any authority to enforce retailer sale policies, but it does work closely with them on several issues.  It provides in store signage with explanations of the rating system, it supports their policies on the sale of mature rated games to minors, and most importantly, the ESRG assists in the education and training of store associates in regard to the rating system.

Even though the research did not find any current laws or regulations restricting the sale or rental of video games with violent tendencies to minors there is a June 2011 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that disallowed a California law enacted to restrict violent video games sales or rentals to minors.  California is one of several states that implemented similar laws that restricted the purchase of violent video games by minors.  These laws have been struck down repeatedly by the lower courts.  Federal judges blocked Illinois and Michigan laws in 2005, citing First Amendment infringement.  Indianapolis and Missouri’s St. Louis County had laws shot down as well. (McCullagh, 2011).

California’s law did not target any game specifically, however attorneys representing the state of California singled out the game Postal 2, in which murderous rampages are allowed.  Additionally. the Federal Trade Commission has targeted Rockstar Games, makers of GTA: San Andreas for including sexually explicit content.  The California law punished anyone $1,000 for selling or renting “violent video games” to minors.  A violent video game was defined as, “a game in which the player has the option of ‘killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being’ in offensive ways” (McCullagh, 2011, para. 14).  These “violent video games” may be purchased by parents for minors though.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) has established a code of ethics promoting a set standard of norms and values for its members.  In theory, these norms and values represent the collective conception of what society holds as desirable, important and morally proper.  According to the AMA, anyone who is involved in marketing for members of the marketing profession, these norms and values are supposed to serve as the criteria for evaluating our own personal actions andthe actions of others.

The AMA (2017), in its Statement of Ethics, has established three norms for anyone involved in the marketing profession to follow:

“1. Do no harm. This means consciously avoiding harmful actions or omissions by embodying high ethical standards and adhering to all applicable laws and regulations in the choices we make.

2. Foster trust in the marketing system. This means striving for good faith and fair dealing so as to contribute toward the efficacy of the exchange process as well as avoiding deception in product design, pricing, communication, and delivery of distribution.

3. Embrace ethical values. This means building relationships and enhancing consumer confidence in the integrity of marketing by affirming these core values: honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency and citizenship” (para. 2)

The AMA (2017), also established six values within its Statement of Ethics for anyone involved in the marketing profession follow:

“1. Honesty – to be forthright in dealings with customers and stakeholders.

2. Responsibility – to accept the consequences of our marketing decisions and strategies.

3. Fairness – to balance justly the needs of the buyer with the interests of the seller.

4. Respect – to acknowledge the basic human dignity of all stakeholders.

5. Transparency – to create a spirit of openness in marketing operations.

6. Citizenship – to fulfill the economic, legal, philanthropic and societal responsibilities that serve stakeholders” (para. 3).

When addressing ethics and the AMA norms as they relate to marking violent video games the most important aspect that needs to be considered is do no harm.  The problem with this is who decides what constitutes do no harm?

The AMA believes that doing no harm meansconsciously avoiding harmful actions or omissions and adhering to all applicable laws and regulations in the choices we make.  However when you have icons such as Pope Benedict XVI, voicing his opinion on these games , saying that violent or sexually explicit games are a “perversion” and “repulsive” (Surette, 2007) and studies like the metastudy conducted by Iowa State University’s Center for the Study of Violence according to their results, violent video games exposure is directly related to higher levels of aggressive thoughts and behavior, and lower levels of empathy and pro-social behavior in the youths exposed to them (Moore, 2010) it is hard for anyone marketing these products to change the image that these video games are not causing any harm on any one.

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When addressing ethics and the AMA values as they relate to marking violent video games, one key value needs to be considered; responsibility.  In addressing responsibility, the AMA believes that marketers need to accept the consequences of their marketing decisions and strategies.  They also believe that marketing strategies should avoid as using coercion and recognize the special commitments that they have to vulnerable market segments (e.g., children).  According to Jenkins (2003), it is a myth that video games are marketed primarily to children.  “While most American kids do play video games, the center of the video game market has shifted older as the first generation of gamers continues to play into adulthood.  The game industry caters to adult tastes and a sizable number of parents ignore game ratings because they assume that games are for kids (para. 4).

To conclude, Rockstar Games has the same free speech protections that apply equally to video games as they do with other forms of creative expression like books, movies and music.  Even though many believe that Rockstar Games and other video gaming companies explicitly target their marketing to children, and they may, Rockstar Games and other video gaming companies follow the letter of the law when it comes to compliance with the ESRB ratings in the marketing of their products.  Additionally, in reference to AMA’s Statement of Ethics, Rockstar Games and other video gaming companies do comply with the industry ethical standards and it is recommended that Rockstar Games as well as other video gaming companies to continue with a vigorous campaign of self regulation of their marketing practices.


About AMA. (2017). Retrieved January 22, 2019, from

Dunckley, V. (2016, September 25). Psychology Today: This is your child’s brain on video games. Retrieved from

Perrault, Jr., W., Cannon, J., & McCarthy, E. (2014). Basic marketing: A marketing strategy planning approach (19th ed.). New York, NY. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Simmonds, R. (2013, September 13). Forbes: Four lessons from rockstar games, the innovators behind ‘Grand Theft Auto V.’ Retrieved from

Surette, T.(2007, January 24). CNET Article: Pope Condemns Violent Games.  Retrieved from

Armstrong, E.(2010, March 2). CNET Article: Meta Study: Violent Video Games Raise Aggression.  Retrieved from

McCullagh, D.(2011, June 27). CNET Article Supreme Court nixes violent video game law.  Retrieved from

Jenkins, H. (2003). PBS Essay: Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked.  Retrieved from

Impact of Police Cuts o Violent Crime Rates in the UK


This report will explore the correlation between cuts in the UK Police Force over the last decade with the general crime rate in the UK over the same time period. The report will explore the effect of reducing the number of frontline police officers on violent crime rates in particular. Statistical analyses/methods will be used in order to come to a conclusion by accepting or rejecting the null hypothesis. Following on from this, a brief literature review on existing research, and a proposed methodology to obtain more conclusive results will also be included.




Potential research outcomes

Literature Review

Mathematical Equations

Methodology and analysis

Proposed future methodology





A recurring theme often seen in the news relates to budget cuts in the UK, particularly within the UK Police Force. Many news outlets including Sky [1], The Guardian [2] and The Independent [3] have published alarming articles highlighting how these budget cuts have impacted crime rates using headlines such as “Police cuts ‘likely’ factor in serious crime rise” [1] and “Police budget cuts driving violent crime” [3]. These articles contain a few statistics such as “official statistics revealed a 22 per cent rise in knife crime across England and Wales” [3] however, the articles failed to include in-depth statistics which provide a direct correlation to compare how police cuts have affected these crime rates. Along with this, references for where they obtained the data were difficult to get to if at all possible. The main theme throughout these articles is that there are numerous factors which are affecting the crime rate with the main culprit being the budget cuts. As with all things however, there are various other contributing factors such as the rise and fall of the drug market, changes in financial and economic circumstances, and the ‘glamorisation’ of crime and violence on social media and within music.

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For the purpose of this research assignment, we will mainly be focusing on how a reduction in the number of police officers has had an impact on violent crime in the UK. We will take data from the government’s official crime statistics page [4] and use statistical analysis such as Pearson’s r test in order to statistically accept or reject the null hypothesis.

The results from this research paper would fall into one of 3 main categories.

Accepting the null hypothesis (below) – This would mean that there is no significant correlation between police numbers and crime rates.

The null hypothesis (appendix 1.1): There is no statistically significant relationship between the fall in patrol police officers and level of crime rates in the UK.

The second of these would be rejecting the null hypothesis and accepting the alternative hypothesis.

The alternative hypothesis (appendix 1.2): There is a statistically significant relationship between the fall in patrol police officers and level of crime rates in the UK.

Finally, the results could prove to be inconclusive, meaning that further investigation would be required, perhaps with more in-depth data/statistics. This could also be the case if multiple factors have a significant effect on crime rates (on top of just the number of police officers).

As mentioned in the introduction, a lot of the publications/text on this subject seem to be coming from news outlets. Even after trawling through various online scholarly article diaries, there were very few which go into the depth of the data as would be required. Many of the better articles are published around 1980-1990 which makes the results a little outdated. The few articles which were found were more of blog posts etc.

Below are the main articles which were used as a reference. [5]Ben Bradford (July 2011), Police numbers and crime rates – a rapid evidence review This paper was written in 2011, only a year after the 2010 budget cuts, which we are using as the starting point for our research. The summary from this article states “there is very little evidence that increasing the number of officers might result in a reduction in crime” (and vice versa). It does mention however, that more recent studies have suggested there is a link. This article goes on to explore the relationship between police numbers and property crime in particular. An excellent table within the paper can be found in the appendix which contains a summary of 13 pieces of research with the method and findings. (appendix 1.8) [6]CentrePiece (Winter 2005/2006), Can more police resources reduce crimes? (A summary of ‘Crime and Police Resources: The street crime initiative’ by Stephen Machin and Olivier Marie, CEP Discussion Paper No. 680)Another older paper, this paper follows a similar mindset to other papers published on the subject. One of the key points made in this is “there is little hard evidence showing that more police do in fact reduce crime.” It goes on to say the reason behind this is it is difficult to disentangle the causal relationship between the two. According to the paper, higher crime usually means more police. [7]Ben Vollard, Joseph Hamed (November 2012), Why the Police Have an Effect on Violent Crime After All: Evidence From the British Crime Survey.This findings from this paper suggest that higher numbers of police not only lower the crime rates but also increase the share of crime, and in particular violent crime. 

The issue with the literature above is that there is nothing current. The latest of these articles was published in 2012, which is still early on in the police cuts. Upon reading through these, many of them fail to use statistical methods to statistically back up their statements. I believe this is due to the lack of statistical tests which can be used for this. As we are only focused on one of the various factors affecting crime rates, the range of statistical tests we can use is extremely narrowed down. Due to this, the articles do all agree on the difficulty of proving causality for this scenario.

As part of the research for this article, various statistics for police numbers and crime rates were gathered which will be explored below.


Equation 1 – Pearson’s r formula

Equation 2 – Degrees of Freedom

Currently, officers are categorised as either frontline (like response teams, neighbourhood policing, front desk roles), frontline support (such as intelligence), business support (such as training) or not coded (such as national policing). [8]

For the purpose of this report, we will be using frontline police officers as this includes patrol officers which would act as the main visible deterrent for crimes.

Figure 1 – Total police officers        Figure 2 – Frontline police officers graph

As can be seen from figure 1 above, the number of police officers has been falling since 2010. Figure 2 displays the change in frontline police officers which we are using for our analysis. Frontline police officers have decreased from 124,000 in 2010 to 104,000 in 2018 which is a reduction of just over 16%.

In the same time period, crime stats were affected as below. These tables include overall crime rates as well as for more specific crimes/categories of crimes.

Figure 3 – Homicide rates graph         Figure 4 – CSEW Graph

     Figure 5 – Police recorded violent offences   Figure 6 – volume of violent crime

Extracting the data from the graphs above give us the table below.  For the purpose of this paper, the bulk of the crime data was extracted from Figure 6 – which depicts the total violence (appendix 1.3).  These figures were then collated into a table which could be used for further statistical analysis – The raw data can be found in the appendix (appendix 1.4).

Because we are working with an independent variable and a dependant variable, the type of analysis we will be using is regression analysis. This is used when the two fields display a slightly linear relationship [9]. The regression analysis we are using in particular is Pearson’s correlation [12]. This is used to calculate the correlation coefficient, r which is then used to calculate the coefficient of determination. The linear regression can be seen on the graph which is a plot of the table (appendix 1.4). The graph contains a regression line (line of best fit) which indicates the general trend. It is important to note however, that with regression analysis, correlation is not the same as causality.

Figure 7 – Graph of table below with regression line

Calculating r in Pearson’s test (Equation 1) gives us a value of -0.7522 (appendix 1.9 shows calculation). This shows a strong negative correlation (appendix 1.5), which means that high X variable (Number of Police Officers) scores go with low Y variable (Total Violence) scores.

The value of R2, the coefficient of determination, is 0.5658. This means that ~57% of the variance in total violence is predictable from the number of officers.

For the decision rule, we can look at the r table for the critical value. Using a 0.05 level of significance and inputting our degrees of freedom (appendix 1.6), we get a value of 0.666.

Using the above value, we can see that our value of R is greater than 0.666 (ignoring the negatives). This means we can reject the null hypothesis, therefore concluding there is a relationship between the number of officers and total violence.

These results however, do not paint an entirely accurate picture, and this is due to a few reasons. One of the main reasons, as mentioned earlier is that proving causality for the number of officers on total violence is extremely difficult. There is a high chance that they are correlated as can be seen above, however, the results are not conclusive enough. The r and r2 values are not close enough to 1/-1 to say for certain whether it is the police numbers that are causing this change.

Another issue is in the way that crimes are recorded. Many of the other articles touch on this also as inconsistencies in different crime recording agencies make it difficult to get accurate results. It is worth noting also that the above figures are solely for the effect of police numbers on total violence (number of violent offences). This is not indicative of the effect on overall crime rates.

Below you can see an example using the overall crime rates in the UK.

Figure 8 – Graph to show the volume of police recorded crimes.

The graph above was used to extract the number of police recorded crime each year. This gives us a good estimate for the total number of crimes in the UK for this time period. These figures were then collated into a table which could be used for further statistical analysis – The raw data can be found in the appendix (appendix 1.7). It is worth noting that police recorded crime data are not designated as national statistics.

These numbers can then again be used in Pearson’s correlation.

Calculating r in Pearson’s test gives us a value of -0.6173. This shows a moderate negative correlation (appendix 1.5), which means that high X variable scores go with low Y variable scores (and vice versa).

The value of R2, the coefficient of determination, is 0.3811. This means that ~57% of the variance in total violence is predictable from the number of officers.

For the decision rule, we can look at the r table for the critical value. Using a 0.05 level of significance and inputting our degrees of freedom (appendix 1.6) we get a value of 0.666.

Using the above value, we can see that our value of R is smaller than 0.666 (ignoring the negatives). This means we can accept the null hypothesis, therefore concluding there is no statistically significant relationship between the number of officers and total crime.

Proposed future methodology

In order to obtain conclusive results, a much wider and deeper investigation needs to be pursued. My proposed plan for this would be to research into the top 5 factors affecting crime in the UK. An independent analysis would then be undertaken for each of the factors working out the impact/relationship they have with the crime rates. It would also be possible to find scenarios where other factors are mitigated or taken in to account. This would provide a more accurate picture with how much each of the factors are affecting the crime rates. This would however, be very difficult as can be seen by the lack of comprehensive/conclusive evidence available online.

An alternative methodology would be to approach the problem slightly differently. Instead of asking does the number of police officers affect the crime rate, we can ask “How does a reduction in the number of police officers affect different sectors of crime”. This would enable us to compare between the groups due to having nominal/qualitative data and also enable us to carry out the chi-squared test as we would be able to use observed and expected values. This in turn would give you a level of error/certainty indicating which types of crime were increasing due to the budget cuts.

As this research was mainly focused on how the number of frontline police officers affect the crime rates. Research would also need to be carried for other areas of the police force and how reductions/cuts in these areas (non-frontline) affect the crime rate.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the data taken was for the UK as a whole. Many individual cities/towns/areas could be of an opposing verdict to the null hypothesis as variations in the police force could affect seperate areas differently. This could be affected by other factors such as employability rates in the area, average salary, population and even cost of living coming into effect. Running the tests on smaller areas within the UK such as borough’s or districts would provide more comprehensive results as we could understand how the cuts affect each area individually and factor in the other influences.

Despite what the media may portray, we can quite surely say that regardless of the strong correlation shown, the results are far too inconclusive for us to confidently accept or reject the null hypothesis without investigating further. From the results we obtained, we could accept the null hypothesis (as mentioned in the analysis section) for the rise in violent crimes, however, crime we must reject the null hypothesis for crime as a whole. Looking through the summaries/findings on Appendix 1.8, we can really see the mixed signals and results obtained throughout various papers which are no doubt due to the issues highlighted throughout this text. 

It is likely possible that a decrease in the number of patrol officers may play a part in increasing certain crimes such as violent crimes or burglaries. It is worth noting however, that this is more likely to be the other way around, where an increase in the number of patrol police officers would result in a decrease in certain crime rates which makes sense as they would act as a physical deterrent.

In order to continue the research, further statistical tests could be undertaken, however, this would be for exploring multiple areas of crime and comparing them to each other. This would give a good indication of which types of crime were affected the most from the reduction in patrol officers. This would also mean that a wider range of statistical analyses could be used. As we only had 1 dependant and 1 independent variable, the graph with the regression line and Pearson’s correlation were the best choices to show the statistical significance.

To conclude, as the budget cuts affected the entire police force, the impact of losing ~20 000 frontline officers since 2010 was not significant on the overall crime rate in the UK with many reports even showing how overall crime rates have decreased since 2010. They key issue, which has been picked up by the media is how the reduction has impacted specific areas of crime, most of which would be done out in public. These are then mis portrayed with the headlines mentioned in the introduction.

[1] –

[2] –

[3] –

[4] –

[5] – Ben Bradford (July 2011), Police numbers and crime rates – a rapid evidence review [online]

Available at:

[Accessed 10th December]

[6] – CentrePiece (Winter 2005/2006), Can more police resources reduce crimes? (A summary of ‘Crime and Police Resources: The street crime initiative’ by Stephen Machin and Olivier Marie, CEP Discussion Paper No. 680)

[Accessed 10th December]

[7] – Vollard, B., Hamed, J., 2012. Why the Police Have an Effect on Violent Crime After All: Evidence From the British Crime Survey.

[8] –

[9] –

[10] –

[11] –

[12] –

Additional reads

[13] –

[14] –

[15] –

[16] –


Figure 1 –

Figure 2 –

Figure 3 –

Figure 4 –

Figure 5 –

Figure 6 –

Figure 8 –

1.1   Null Hypothesis – “A null hypothesis is a hypothesis that says there is no statistical significance between the two variables in the hypothesis. It is the hypothesis that the researcher is trying to disprove.” [11]

Definition taken from


1.2   Alternative Hypothesis – “An alternative hypothesis is simply the inverse, or opposite, of the null hypothesis.” [11]

Definition taken from


1.3   Total Violence – The number of offences of: violence with injury + violence without injury + stalking and harassment

1.4   Table to show total violence against number of officers


Number of officers

Total Violence




























1.5 Table to show interpretation of values of r

Value of R


Exactly -1.0

A perfect downhill (negative) linear relationship


 A strong downhill (negative) linear relationship


 A moderate downhill (negative) linear relationship


 A weak downhill (negative) linear relationship


No linear relationship


A weak uphill (positive) linear relationship


A moderate uphill (positive) relationship


A strong uphill (positive) linear relationship

Exactly + 1

A perfect uphill (positive) linear relationship

1.6   Degrees of Freedom – degrees of freedom (df) is the number of data point minus 2. (N-2) [10](See equation 2)

1.7   Table to show police recorded crimes against number of officers


Number of officers

Police Recorded Crime




























1.8   Extract of table from [7]

1.9 – Pearson’s r calculation for number of police officers against violent crime

Juvenile Violent Offenders in the Juvenile Justice System

Juvenile Violent Offenders in the Juvenile Justice System


The Juvenile Justice system deals with offenders differently than in the Adult Criminal Justice System. Sentencing, corrections, and the judicial system engage in certain processes when dealing with juvenile offenders. Juvenile incarceration has been a constant issue, especially when having young adults in adult prisons. Nevertheless, there are many concerns such as treatment and custody of juveniles and in adult facilities, the age of the juvenile, the crime they committed and if the juvenile will be safe while incarcerated. These are important factors when it pertains to a correctional officer and working with juveniles’ offenders in an adult facility.

The Sentencing of Juvenile Violent Offenders

Life sentences without parole for violent offenders found unconstitutional in Miller v Alabama, states that a mandatory sentence for a juvenile convicted of homicide violated the constitutional ban on the 8th amendment of cruel and unusual punishment. (Miller v. Alabama, 2012). Over the last three decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of juvenile offenders tried in adult criminal courts. (Sells, Sullivan, & Devore, 2012).  One of the main causes of this issue is that courts have presumed that juveniles are less culpable than adults because of their immaturity (Greenwood & Turner, 2009).  Nevertheless, adult criminals often begin their criminal careers as juveniles. The prevention of delinquency can stop the onset of adult criminal careers in the future (Greenwood & Turner, 2009).   Thus, the cost of arresting, prosecuting, incarcerating, and treating offenders is very costly to states and taxpayers (Greenwood & Turner, 2009). 

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According to the US Supreme Court, juveniles do not have the judgment of adults and should not be treated as adults when they commit offenses (Sells, Sullivan, & Devore, 2012).  Criminal courts often sentence juveniles to adult court to stand trial and receive punishment. Nevertheless, leniency may be granted to juvenile due to their diminished capacities may receive shorter sentences for their transgressions and often judges who are elected for offices are often the ones determining a sentence. (Sells, Sullivan, & Devore, 2012). 

Parole and Reentry

In addition, after the ruling of  Miller v Alabama, the court noted that adolescent in the criminal justice system deserves enhanced protections and different considerations should have profound effects on juvenile’s treatment in the parole system. (Sells, Sullivan, & Devore, 2012). Nevertheless, the decades of focus on rehabilitation of juvenile’s offenders many face obstacles into re-entry in their communities without the coordinated social and public assistance (Harbeck, 2019). However, many efforts have been used to handle offenders and reduce the rates of recidivism. (Livers & Kehoe, 2012).

Many juvenile justice advocates have lobbied with Congress to pass federal models of interagency coordination of youth services. One of the primary goals of re-entry is for the juvenile to live a crime-free life with increased skills and a changed family to become a productive member of society (Carmichael, 2010).

Therefore, many offenders who have been released from juvenile correctional facilities have a high rate of recidivism and about 66 percent of juveniles re-offend in residential incarceration  (Sells, Sullivan, & Devore, 2012).  As a result, offenders are often rearrested within a few month or years after release (Sells, Sullivan, & Devore, 2012). Hence, one of the factors that impact re-entry is often the lack of family involvement before discharge and increased lengths of stay can increase rates of recidivism (Sells, Sullivan, & Devore, 2012).

 Moreover, an earned option is often recommended if the youth and their family can justify that the offender has a positive change before an early discharge is even possible (Sells, Sullivan, & Devore, 2012). Furthermore, re-entry evaluations are necessary to advance in the field of reducing lengths of stay without a risk to public safety in a financially limited juvenile justice system (Sells, Sullivan, & Devore, 2012).

Corrections and Juvenile Offenders

Moreover, Adult offenders do not have access to boot camps programs such as juveniles. Furthermore, there is little difference between an adult criminal and a youthful offender and if the offender is found guilty of a criminal act the only recognized outcome is punishment (Bayer, Hjalmarsson, & Pozen, 2009).

  Boot camps are usually given to non-violent offenders who have never committed a crime. As a result, this program is not voluntary and is often assigned by the court to be completed in a short period of one to six months (Greenwood & Turner, 2009). 

Thus, if an offender does not complete their sentence, they will have to be sent to an adult prison to complete the rest of their sentence. Adults do not have these options they are often sent to jail or prison depending on the crime committed. Unlike the adult system, the Juvenile Justice System often uses training houses (Carmichael, 2010), and other types of programs such as group treatment homes, day treatment programs, sex offender programs, and work programs (Bayer, Hjalmarsson, & Pozen, 2009).

  Intensive Protective Supervision is a program that is often used for non-serious status offenders it is a program like is closely monitored by a counselor who interacts more with the youth and the family instead of a probation officer (Greenwood & Turner, 2009).  The counselor makes frequent home trips, gives supports to parents, creates an individualized service plan and arranges for professional and therapy service (Greenwood & Turner, 2009).   Thus, the difference among the juvenile system and the adult system is that the juvenile justice system purpose is to provide rehabilitation, not punishment (Harbeck, 2019.)

However, offenders who have committed violent crimes may often be placed on Community Based Intervention which requires the offender to have formal or informal probation, or youth serving on parole who are returning to the community after residential placement (Bayer, Hjalmarsson, & Pozen, 2009). Therefore, a juvenile offender can only be held in custody in a juvenile facility or on probation until the age of 21 (Harbeck, 2019).

Courts and Processing

The assignment of a judge sending a juvenile to jail, correctional facility, or program depends on the appropriate risk level for the young offender (Greenwood & Turner,2019).  Depending on the finding of the court, if the offender committed a delinquent act (Carmichael, 2010), a probation officer must prepare a predisposition report and assessment and the former must have a classification of the risk level of the youth from minimum to maximum (Greenwood & Turner, 2019). Therefore, depending on the crime or offense committed by the offender the judge will determine where if the offender will be transferred to a high and maximum-security facility (Carmichael, 2010).

  Nevertheless, judges in the state of Florida typically assign a juvenile to a facility in Florida by determining the appropriate risk level for the youth and the Department of Juvenile Justice assign the youth to a program  (Bayer, Hjalmarsson, & Pozen, 2009). In addition. the state of Florida predisposition report must include a classification of the risk level to the youth and must include if the offenders are a risk to themselves or the public (Bayer, Hjalmarsson, & Pozen, 2009).  For example, an individual who committed a first-degree felony, a sex offense, or a firearm offense are excluded from the minimum and low-risk categories. As a result, the probation officer’s recommendation and assessment of the youth and the judge who decides the final decision of the appropriate risk level (Bayer, Hjalmarsson, & Pozen, 2009).


     Lastly, juvenile offenders can often receive harsh punishment due to the offenses that they have committed. In addition, many human rights groups often do not agree with adolescents to be detained in a prison setting with adults because it often affects their mental health. Therefore, if a juvenile commits a violent crime they should be treated and convicted as an adult and be held responsible and be accountable for the crime or offense committed. As a result, many cases of a juvenile who often life sentences have been found unconstitutional due to the age of the offender in question. In conclusion, many judges and juvenile justice can resort to different ways on how to determine a sentence for a violent juvenile offender without resorting to a harsh life sentence. As a correctional officer working with juvenile offenders it important that they receive proper training on how to deal with this special population of offenders.


Bayer, P., Hjalmarsson, R., & Pozen, D. (2009). Building criminal capital behind bars: peer effects in juvenile corrections. Quarterly Journal of Economics, (1). Retrieved from

Carmichael, J. T. (2010). Sentencing disparities for juvenile offenders sentenced to adult prisons: An individual and contextual analysis. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(4), 747–757.

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Do Violent Video Games Cause Behaviour Problems?

Advancements in technology is the key player in entertainment future. As the video games tend to grow to be practical in nature, the involvement of teens in this kind of entertainment has also grown to a large extent. However, the main focus of these games nowadays is violence and killing enemies. More and more sophisticated techniques are introduces by gaming companies every now and then to make this sort of entertainment more interesting for the youth. This scenario brings up a very genuine question in the minds of us all: are these violent video games a cause for the teens to act aggressively? Like majority of teens, I also indulge in playing violent video games and I believe that spending too much time on such kind of activity may cause irreparable damage to the behavior patterns of the teens.

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Spending too much time on playing violent video games can provoke teens to act in a violent manner. Killing a large number of enemies in a video game can teach teens to act in an aggressive manner when faced with the real world. Ruthless killings in the video games tend to train the sub-consciousness of the teens to become violent. According to a study, two teen groups were asked to play video games. One group spent more time than the other and hence acted more violently. Another version of the study shows that teens that play more violent video games tend to think of violence as fun as teens are likely to link aggression with amusement. More so, by playing violent video games teen are rewarded when they are successful which they subconsciously take to the real world as well. In some way if the game is played to much the boundaries between violence and fun in the game and violent in real life can be crossed. The large amount of weapons, dead bodies and blood shown in the video games makes the teens insensitive to aggression. According to many researches, video games, especially violent video games, make teens aggressive in nature, lazy, violent and unsocial.
Video games have been found to be addictive in nature if played uncontrollably. The players are required to repeat the same actions again and again in order to complete a level, a mission or to complete a particular project. However, the completion of the level or a mission demands a lot of time and patience. Mostly, it takes days of non-stop practice for a teen to complete all the levels of a video game. This means no social life for the teen and all that matters for him is to kill as many enemies as possible to succeed. Many researchers believe that teens spend countless hours of gaming in order to boast their expertise in this field. The competition nowadays between teens is less about academic grades and more about the expertise which a teen can show in these video games. Socially active groups are also formed by teens to log on to these violent video games at a specific time of the day and fight with each other in order to win the championship of the game.
Another drawback of spending excessive time on playing video games is that youngsters become unsocial and obese. According to many researches, people have a tendency to eat more while playing video games than while studying or resting. The imbalance of calorie intake while just sitting, playing video games, doing no physical activity and eating causes many weight related problems. Youngsters are inhibited to go out to the gym or a nearby jogging track to exercise, thus creating weight gain problems and increased risk of heart attack at later stages.
The neuroscientists warns that too much time spent on playing violent video games is bringing lots of negative behavioral changes in children. They become more violent, self centered, shorten attention periods and exhibit instant gratification. Although such reading would be disturbing to many however, most parents would agree to the claim as they have noticed such behavioral changes in their kids who spend a lot of time on such activities. Another negative effect of these sites as pointed out by the author is that people are usually more comfortable in using computers rather than communicating with each other. The social media sites and violent computer games only develop the “fight” side of the brain and the “reasoning” side of the brains remains totally under developed.
However, the supporters of violent videogames argue that most of the violent video games are rated adult material for the reason that mature adults are not likely to take influence from these games and would not go on the streets to display aggressive behavior. They also argue that these games satisfy the thrill and adventure seeking senses of bigger teens and mature adults than those games which are offered for the children. However, these arguments although valid to some extent may not practically apply to the society as it is very difficult to monitor the online activity of the teens by the parents all day long. Moreover, this may cause ethical problems and infringement into privacy of the teens in many societies.
In conclusion, it is appropriate to say that violent video games have a very negative effect on the behavior of the teens. They tend to act violently in the real world scenario, become more and more socially inactive, gain weight and suffer all sorts of associated problems, boast about something superficial (instead of academics and performance in co-curricular activities) and above all, waste a lot of time in an activity which has more negative effects than benefits. Strong measures should be incorporated by the government to ban production of violent video games or at least make them out of bounds for the under aged teens. Parents have a very important role to play in this scenario who should accompany teens to the shop in order to ensure that their kids are not buying anything harmful. Shopkeepers should also administer judgment while selling rated video games to under aged teens.
Limiting the gameplay of violent video games for young people can have many positive effects. The player can decompress from daily stress. If the players had a rough day instead of being aggressive and maybe hurting something or someone, he can take out his anger on a virtual enemy in the video games instead of causing damage. Violent videogames provide exactly that kind of escape, giving kids “an arena where they can play with fantasies of danger, aggression and conflict, developing a feeling of mastery that can serve as an antidote, or at least a necessary break, from daily anxieties,” (Jones in Since the players doesn’t play too much he just sees the video game as a way to relax and decompress. He is not addicted to the video game and just sees it as a way to entertain himself at some times. Players instead of being aggressive to people if they are angry can decompress in the game. It is like a punching ball but virtually. According to a graph in pro the youth crime rate went down as the video games sales went up. This show that most people are not addicted and take decompress using video games. Also video game can be good for a quick pastime if the player is waiting 30 minutes for something, it is good to occupy for a short period of time. Some video games can make young players learn facts and consequences. For example capitals of countries can be learned as well as the locations on a map. Consequences of acting recklessly can be learned when the players gets killed or arrested.
Ratings in video games and age restrictions should be more strictly applied. Rating inform the buyer to know what kind of game is being bought and what is in it, violence, drugs, sexual actions and many more. The parents should accompany their kids and look at the rating to see if it is appropriate for the teen to play it. This would help buyers to see if the game is suitable for a certain range of age. Video games store should refuse to tell violent video game with over 18 rating to minors. Most video game clerks in stores do not check if the buyer is age appropriate for them or if the game is suitable for them. A minor client might not be mature enough for the game. In an article from by Rebecca Leung; a boy named Devin Moore shot two police officers and a 911 dispatcher. The game that influenced him was grand theft auto four; he played countless hours of it. In this game it is a society where the player is free to do whatever he wants the game encourages you to kill anyone in your way, a pedestrian, gang members or even the police. Accident like that can happen if age limits are not respected or if there is not parental control over these issues. As well an I.D. should be required to buy the game to double check. Many incidents like the shooting could be avoided.
To conclude over playing video games has many negative effects such as addiction, obesity, poor social skills, aggressive behavior and sleep deprivation. But if the right actions are taken by limiting the game play by for example setting limits of time played on the console and checking the ratings that show the content of the game many negative consequence can be avoided and positive things can happen.