Impact of Cartoons on Children's Behavior

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Impact of Cartoons on Children's Behavior

Television programs that are targeted towards children, such as cartoons, can affect children in both positive and negative ways. I examined a variety of cartoons on both commercial and public television to observe the content of children's programming and determine the effects, both positive and negative, that programs have on children. The cartoons contain a wide variety of subject matters that can influence children in many different ways. I found that the majority of cartoons choose to use violence and inappropriate subject matter to entertain children. These images and stories can have a tremendous negative impact on children because the violence is rewarded without consequences, is glorified, and idealized. Children look up to the characters that have a negative impact by distorting their views on conflict resolution. There are, however, cartoons that contain little or no violence and often try to incorporate educational lessons that concern values and morals that are important for children to learn, thus having a positive impact.

"Dragon Ball Z" is an example of a cartoon that has a negative affect on children because of the use of violence. This particular episode was aired on Thursday, October 18, 2001 on a public broadcast station in High Point, NC. The show introduced a group of terrifying monsters that were considered to be the bad guys. Their bodies were many different sizes and colors and they were shown in a big, dark dungeon surrounded by lightning. The good guys were a group of 5 humans who were the main characters. They were seen as heroic and strong and their main goal was to find and defeat the bad monsters. Both sides plotted against each other and trie...

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...aracter as a hero or winner with no consequences for violent actions and also make violence seem humorous and fun. There are also cartoons that contain no inappropriate conflict. These cartoons influence children in a positive way by dealing with issues of friendship, sharing, and creativity. Cartoons contain a wide variety of subject matter and deal with issues of harmful violence and constructive values and therefore, can affect children in both positive and negative ways.

Works Cited

Teperman, Jean. "Toxic Lessons What Do Children Learn from Media Violence?" Children's Advocate newsmagazine. Online. Accessed October 23, 2001.

American Psychological Association. "Violence on Television. What Do Children Learn? What Can Parents Do?" APA Online. Accessed October 23, 2001.

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