Policymakers Praise APA and Psychological Research on TV Violence


At a May 21 meeting of the Citizens Task Force on TV Violence, Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) Chairman Keith Spicer and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) praised APA and the work of psychological scientists studying violence. Research findings, reported by APA, have helped the Canadian government to craft policy regarding television violence. As a result, the CRTC (the Canadian equivalent to the Federal Communications Commission) has recently developed a ratings system to be used with a violence-chip, or v-chip, so that parents can monitor what their children watch.

'Basically we're ripping the U.S. off intellectually,' Chairman Spicer said. 'Ninety percent of what we've done has been based on American research. The work of the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association has helped us frame the television violence debate as a public health issue with mental health implications.'

Sen. Conrad also praised APA, saying that psychological research 'allowed supporters to effectively combat the hype of the telecommunications industry.' The United States is also developing a ratings system to be used with the v-chip, similar to that in Canada.

Both Chairman Spicer and Sen. Conrad emphasized that the recent development of television ratings systems and the v-chip are only the first steps. 'This is 5-10% of the total solution,' Chairman Spicer stated. 'It is a piece of the puzzle that amounts to empowering parents. The talk must now be on the positive side of children's programming.'




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