Date of Conferral





Public Health


Peter B. Anderson


Youth violence is a pervasive and ongoing public health concern. Based on the paradigm of resilience, the purpose of this quantitative study was to test the relationship between prolonged (3 or more hours) of non-school related media use and youth violence. Secondary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were utilized for this study. Logistic and multiple regression models were used to test whether exposure to prolonged non-school related media (video games and TV) use was associated with violent behavior, and whether there was a relationship between prolonged exposure to non-school related media use and electronic bullying among urban youth (N = 1228). Prolonged exposure to both types of non-school related media use was associated with violent behavior (carrying a weapon, physical fighting, perpetrating physical bullying), and playing video and computer games 3 or more hours per day was positively associated with electronic bullying. However, 3 or more hours of TV viewing per day was not associated with electronic bullying. Policy makers, constituents, and parents may benefit from a greater understanding of media exposure and urban youth violence. The knowledge gained from this study may promote positive social change within family systems by increasing parental awareness of what youth do in their unstructured free time and how this impacts subsequent behaviors. Public health professionals, community organizations, and social service agencies in urban communities could incorporate the results to create a culture that supports youth leadership programs that focus on limited use of non-school related media and on violence prevention.