Report: Children exposure to media violence at all-time high - FOX34 Lubbock

Report: Children exposure to media violence at all-time high

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The average American youth will witness nearly 200,000 violent acts before age 18, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. 

Covenant Children's Mental Health Counselor James Atkison said kids today are exposed to more violence than ever before, primarily because of the evolution of social media.

In fact, about 56% of American youth have their own social media account, with an average starting age of 12, according to a Common Sense Media census report. 
"If we define violence as just acts against other humans, we've seen a lot more of that, and it's a lot more interpersonal than any time before. We also have 8 billion people on the planet, so we have more population to work with. So that's kind of a factor we have to look at," Atkison said.

It is not just social media either, as research indicates television and video games are also platforms for this kind of exposure.

Atkison said a child's exposure to violence is, therefore, out of a parent's control, but it can be contained by limiting time on these devices.

"It's not hiding things from them. It's more about how do you protect yourself when you're exposed to this 24-7?" Atkison said.

Atkison said the best thing to do is to simply talk with them about it and not let them be exposed to it alone. 

"When they get exposed to this, you want to have a dialogue. You want to have the processing with them. Talk to them about what's going on, ask what they know, and as long as you're curious and not furious about it, that's kind of the trick with kids," Atkison said.

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