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Socioeconomic status and media exposure as factors in empathic development [electronic resource] /

by Cox, David E.; State University., East Tennessee

Abstract (Summary)
The current study examined the empathic attainment of young children (mean age 7 years) as a function of the child's socioeconomic status. Further, the potential intervening variable of violent media representations within product advertisements is assessed within and between the observed socioeconomic status groups. Three critical dimensions of empathy were assessed: cognitive, affective and behavioral. Participants were 200 volunteers recruited from public and private schools in a Southern Appalachian region (population 93,000). Respondents were rated on their response to animated video clips depicting an individual in emotional distress. Results suggest that media exposure has significant effects on measures of affective empathy and prosocial behavior with lower scores being obtained by children after viewing an action oriented commercial message as opposed to a prosocial commercial message prior to the presentation of the target vignette. The degree to which the media presentation affected empathic responding was found to be associated with participants' socioeconomic status.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:East Tennessee State University

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:empathy child development school violence aggression

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