Movie Violence and Gun Use

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03220412
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 18, 2017
Last Update Posted : January 26, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Brad Bushman, Ohio State University

Brief Summary:
More American children die by accidental gun use than children in other developed countries. One factor that can influence children's interest in guns is exposure to media containing guns. The objective of this study is to test whether children who see a movie containing guns will handle a real gun longer and will pull the trigger more times than children who see the same movie without guns.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Psychology, Social Adolescent Behavior Behavioral: Movies without Guns Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
A recent analysis of top selling films found that the depiction of guns in violent scenes in PG-13 films that target youth has increased from the level of G and PG files in 1985 when the rating was introduced, to the level of R films by 2005, to exceed the level of R films since 2012. By definition, a PG-13 movie is supposed to have less violence than an R-rated movie. The Motion Picture Association of America says on its website that the violence in a PG-13 movie "does not reach the restricted R category." Our study shows that it does. By including guns in violent scenes, film producers may be inadvertently increasing aggression in youth via a weapons effect. This experiment directly tests this hypothesis.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 104 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Intervention Model Description: Participants are randomly assigned to watch a movie containing guns, or a movie not containing guns.
Masking: Single (Participant)
Masking Description: Participants did not know which condition they were in. Participants' parents were aware of the deception (hidden gun) and what condition their children were in (with or without guns). Research personnel knew conditions as well. Research assistants who transcribed recorded laboratory sessions did not know what condition they were coding (eg. what type of movie participants watched)
Primary Purpose: Other
Official Title: Exposure to Gun Violence in Movies Increases Interest in Real Guns
Actual Study Start Date : July 15, 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 1, 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : January 1, 2016

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Experimental Condition
Participants in this condition viewed a movie without guns. The movie (National Treasure or The Rocketeer) was edited to remove guns from scenes.
Behavioral: Movies without Guns
Participants in this arm viewed movies (National Treasure, The Rocketeer) without guns. The movies, rated PG, were edited to remove guns from the scenes
No Intervention: Control Condition
Participants in this condition viewed a movie with guns, as it was filmed and distributed. The actual scenes in the movie (National Treasure or The Rocketeer) was not edited, but the same scenes were used as the Experimental Condition

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Time spent holding gun [ Time Frame: 20 minutes after intervention ]
    Time (in seconds) participant spent holding the real firearm during the play session

  2. Number of trigger pulls [ Time Frame: 20 minutes after intervention ]
    Number of times participant pulled trigger of real firearm during the play session

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   8 Years to 12 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

Age 8-12yrs, had not participated in study prior, was able to schedule participation with a known peer (8-12yo).

Exclusion Criteria:

Younger than 8yo, older than 12yo, had participated in study prior, could not schedule participation with a known peer (8-12yo)

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Brad Bushman, Professor of Communication & Psychology, Ohio State University Identifier: NCT03220412     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2013B0542-3
First Posted: July 18, 2017    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 26, 2018
Last Verified: January 2018
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided
Plan Description: We are considering making individual participant data available, but need to determine steps and appropriateness according to our institutional IRB board.

Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No

Keywords provided by Brad Bushman, Ohio State University: