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Adams, P.L. Arnow, J. (1996). Children in Violence. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 24(1):179-186.

(1996). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 24(1):179-186

Children in Violence

Paul L. Adams, M.D.* and Jan Arnow, B.F.A.**

Violence is pervasive in our children's world. The following are some statistics on violence (Arnow, 1995):

ο    In 1986, 19 million toy guns were sold in the United States; by 1987, the number of toy guns sold leaped upward to 33 million. Between 1986 and 1990, the American sales of war toys escalated fivefold to a total of over $1 billion annually.

ο    Although television during prime time (for adults) depicts five or six violent acts per hour, children's Saturday-morning television presents almost three times as many violent acts. Moreover, video games rely almost exclusively on violence as their playful purpose. Video arcades are rife with almost nothing but gory male violence.

ο    Minors, children under 18 years old, are 244% more likely to die by gunshot today than in 1986. One in six American adolescents aged 10 to 17 has seen or known someone who has been shot. Every 2 hours an American child dies of gunshot wounds.

The pervasiveness of direct violence, far from banal, is energizing for children.

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