London, June 3 (IANS) Not all kids are affected by horror films as most of them show hardly show any sign of increased anxiety, fear, sadness or sleep problems after watching a scary movie or a TV serial, interesting research has found.
The impact of scary TV on children’s wellbeing has been overstated, according to psychologists from University of Sussex.
While research has shown that a small minority of children can have extreme reactions to a scary films, the team found that overall, children were not scared or showed any problem.
Across studies, scary TV had an impact on children’s wellbeing but it was fairly small on average, suggesting that most children are not affected very much,” said Andy Field, professor of child psychopathology.
For the study, research student Laura Pearce and professor Field reviewed all research into the topic carried out over the past 25 years.
Their findings suggest that in general, children are fairly resilient to the scary things that they might see on TV.
Professor Field suggests it is too simplistic to place all the blame for this rise on increased exposure to media.
“We need to do more research into why particular children can be severely affected by particular content on TV,” he argued.
There is good reason to believe, for example, that already anxious or introverted children might be less resilient to scary content.
“Once we know why certain children are more affected than others by what they watch, we can give more specific and useful advice to parents, rather than assuming that all scary TV is bad for all children, which this analysis shows is not the case,” the authors noted.
The researchers also noted that TV guidelines focus on violent content at the expense of non-violent but frightening content – such as worrying news reports or content depicting psychological stress or phobias.
The paper was published in the journal Human Communication Research.