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When the Perpetrator Gets Killed: Effects of Observing the Death of a Handgun User in a Televised Public Service Announcement

Citation

Bernhardt, Jay M.; Sorenson, James R.; & Brown, Jane D. (2001). When the Perpetrator Gets Killed: Effects of Observing the Death of a Handgun User in a Televised Public Service Announcement. Health Education & Behavior, 28(1), 81-94.

Abstract

This study evaluates the cognitive effects of an anti-handgun violence public service announcement (PSA) on sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students (N = 294). Participants were randomly assigned to a treatment group, which viewed a PSA depicting the death of an aggressive handgun user, or a comparison group, which viewed identical content except that the PSA showed no negative consequence for the handgun user. Logistic regression analysis, adjusting for race and gender, revealed that the treatment group was more likely to report negative expected outcomes for aggressively using a handgun and lower behavioral intentions to aggressively use a handgun compared with the comparison group. These findings suggest that observing handgun violence on television that depicts death as a negative physical consequence for the perpetrator may produce lower handgun-encouraging beliefs compared with observing no consequence for the perpetrator--the norm for most televised violence today.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/109019810102800108

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Health Education & Behavior

Author(s)

Bernhardt, Jay M.
Sorenson, James R.
Brown, Jane D.

Year Published

2001

Volume Number

28

Issue Number

1

Pages

81-94

Reference ID

2629