chapter  24
8 Pages

Media and emotional development

ByNicole Martins

Without a doubt, the mass media provide countless ways for children to observe, experience, and learn emotions. Young children may experience some of their first fears as a result of exposure to a scary movie or television program, whereas older children may turn to the internet as a way to cope with teen angst and anxiety. Children are likely to watch their favorite television character encounter a range of emotions like happiness and anger, and eventually learn to empathize with those characters. Given the sheer amount of time children spend with the media, perhaps it comes as no surprise that much of the social interaction they see appears on screen. In this chapter, I will address the role of entertainment media, particularly television and film, in children’s emotional development and elucidate areas that are ripe for future research.