Director of CMCH Michael Rich represented the American Academy of Pediatrics at the entertainment violence summit in Washington DC. He commented “Children learn the ways of the world by observing and imitating — they cannot help but be influenced by media. The most insidious and potent effect of media violence is to desensitize viewers to ‘real life’ violence and to the hard caused its victims.”
Dr. Michael Rich, Director of Video Intervention/Prevention Assessment (VIA), at CMCH has devoted himself to helping his patients chronicle their experience with asthma by giving them camcorders and asking them to make video diaries.
From analyzing the videotapes, Rich has seen reasons for noncompliance with disease management: Asthma is not the number-one issue in the lives of a lot of my patients. They’ve got other concerns.
Medicine is not a religion; its a service industry, argues Rich. Yet as doctors, we often block ourselves from getting information that we most need to serve our patients. We need to listen to patients within their framework. Theyre the experts, they live with their illness every day. We can learn from them.
“Most parents already know not the put a TV in a child’s room. But many readers say they purposefully put the computer there, thinking it opens the door to the child’s personal technological age.”
Dr. Michael Rich, co-author of the AAP statement, says that removing computers from bedrooms is included in the recommendation. His advice is to set limit on how much and when computers are used. “It’s a matter of prioritization. After homework, after family time, after friends, sports, exercise. Kids get sucked in and neglect other parts of their life.”
Dr. Michael Rich, Director of CMCH, conducted a study (published in Pediatrics) of 518 music videos. He found violence in 15 percent of the segments: a total of 462 stabbings, shootings, kickings, and punchings or, on average, six violent acts per two- to three- minute video.
Dr. Michael Rich thinks the Web is “replacing the brochures we once handed to people. These sites are more easily tailored to the patient’s interest and level of awareness.”
Dr. Michael Rich who performed the study says “Our findings raise concern for the effect of violent portrayals in music videos on adolescents’ expectations about their own safety and the way they view people of another gender or race.”
The study found that numbers for minority children were even higher. Dr. Michael Rich suggests this may be due to worried parents keeping their children indoors, rather than outside in unsafe neighborhoods, “so kids who would even ten years ago have gone out and played basketball down at the corner playground are not.”
The study also showed that teen girls became more sedentary as they got older. Dr. Rich commented “in the mid to late teens, peer acceptance for boys is predicated on athletic prowess, while for girls, the emphasis is on being lady-like.”