Influence Of Television Viewing On Young Adult’s Deviant Behaviour

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Influence Of Television Viewing On Young Adult’s Deviant Behaviour


The study seeks to establish the influence of Television viewing on young adult’s deviant behaviour. The sociological approach was employed to examine the influence of television viewing on young adult’s anti-social behaviour specifically in two selected secondary schools in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area . Four research questions were raised and three hypotheses tested for this study. The descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study.Using the questionnaire for data collection.A total number of 120 subjects used for the study were selected through the multi-stage sampling method. The results of this study indicate positive relationship between television viewing and young adult’s deviant behaviours and so, the four null hypotheses formulated were not supported by this study. Findings of this study reveal that there is a significant effect of television on young adult’s anti-social behaviour, respect for culture, Also, finding further indicates that watching television makes young adults to adopt foreign culture. On a final note, it was noted that there is a significant effect of television viewing on rising incidence of social vices among the young adults in Nigeria. From these findings, this study recommends that a good blend of mass communication and interpersonal communication strategies is necessary. They can be useful in directing audience response to media message.More Nigerians televised sociocultural programmes should be shown in order to teach Nigerian values. Entertainment should not be at the expense of news and current affairs.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

As a medium of communication, television seems to transport millions of persons each day to far off places (Syed, 2010). Television is relatively a new medium that has made its impression on every aspect of modern life. It is bouncing its signal on space satellites and uses oceanic cables to transmit live telecast to its beneficiaries. This electronic medium ensures its visibility without any global discrimination.

According to Mattoo (2011), television made its visibility more than Sixty years ago. People were not only skeptical about it, but were also jealous, unkind and even hostile. It need be mentioned that television found its space in all countries of the world and has transformed our planet into a gigantic electronic village bringing various people and continent close (Egenti, 2004). More so, television has become a central dimension of everyday activity and in our country it has grown at a phenomenal pace. Television therefore, is a powerful medium with extra-ordinary reach. No one can doubt the potential of television as a catalyst of social change. Even the perforation of cable and satellite television channels has penetrated in all corners of the country cutting across demographic and geographic barriers. In Nigeria, television was introduced in the Western region through the effort of (Late) Chief Obafemi Awolowo to introduce public service broadcasting. The idea was primarily education and access to rural population. Today, an average Nigerian homes has access to Television and view information from Local, national and global networks. The sheer number of channels gives the viewers options of multiple natures. It is generally believed that television has become a very powerful medium, and its contact no doubt can change the likes and dislikes, learning and social habit of children and Young adults (Esan, 2001).

However, increased attention has been focused in literature regarding the impact of television on human lives at any stage of development. In literature, Harrighust, Erickson, Bandura and other psychologists state that most human behavior is learned observational through modeling. By observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed and later occasions, this coded information serves as a guide for action. Television provides observational learning in this regard. Young adults are easy to manipulate especially during the early stage. They are very sensitive not only to their environment but also to information outside their environment. They are gullible and it is very difficult to change the attitude cultivated at this stage in one’s life (Oladapo, 2001).

Similarly, Esan (2001) posits that young adult’s stage of life can be quite confusing. The confusion is made worse when one is exposed to conflicting views about what appropriate behaviour should be. The level of confusion or confidence is often a function of the information network to which an individual subscribes.

But the individual’s state of mind may not always indicate how expedient the chosen course of action is. Whilst individuals may be satisfied by their personal choices, their course of action may be quite injurious to themselves and indeed the development of society as a whole. What this implies is that deviancy or disorderly conduct is caused by the psychological makeup of the deviants. Deficiencies in the developmental stages or formation of the individual like when he fails to internalize the expected behaviour of the society, leads to psychological problems of adjustment which are shown by committing deviant acts. The implication here is that the causes of deviancy or antisocial behaviour reside in the individual and this is revealed through his reaction to problems. Although biological or physiological factors have been identified in literature to cause deviant behaviour, this study has singled out television viewing because both biological and physiological variables seem not to explain what causes deviant behaviour (Free Essays, 2012). According to this article, sociological perspective to the cause of deviant behaviour has been the least questioned explanation of the three, even though it does not give the exact justification for where deviant behaviour comes from. It may be noted that sociologists learn from culture’s influences, other than a biological or psychological bias. It is in the interest of this present study to tilt towards the sociologists’ position in order to establish the effect of television viewing on young adults’ antisocial behaviour.

Furthermore, for more than half a century now, there has been growing concern about the social influence of television viewing on young people. One of the reasons suggested why the public and social critics are worried about the impact of television is the belief that mass entertainment lowers aesthetic tastes and standards for popular culture in its effects to attract and hold the largest possible audience (Okoye, 1993). According to Okoye (1993), a “bad” media content especially television has adverse effect on young adult’s social behaviour. Evidence abounds in literature on the effects of various media contents, particularly sex, crime and violence on young adults.

Undeniably, studies linking television viewing and young people’s antisocial behaviour have focused on the United States of America and Western Europe and were psychologically based, being interested in the individual. There are few studies, if any (even replications of the American Studies) that establish the relationship between television viewing and young adults antisocial behaviour in developing countries such as Nigeria. This study will therefore fill the literature gap.

Nigeria as exemplified by trends in Lagos where young adults watch various dramatized sex, crime and violence in national and international televisions raise Nigerians eyebrows to such “bad” media content, particularly via television. This could adversely affect the social behavior of young adults. An underlying factor to the production of American entertainment soft ware is consumerism (Okoye, 1993 citing Schilier, 1969). All these constantly exposed to the young adults will influence them to learn American ways of life and their new products that go with them. The resultant enhancement of tastes without a corresponding improvement of the means of satisfying them would create a situation of rising expectation and rising frustration. With the recent massive devaluation of the Naira and the double digit inflation in Nigeria, it is becoming increasing difficult to satisfy the taste for foreign goods. The rising incidence of drug trafficking, armed robbery and “advance free frauds’’ or yahoo-yahoo may well be an indirect consequence of the television viewing culture.

Clearly enough we see young people shown on the Nigerian Television Authority channels 5 and 10, Channels television, Muritala television (MITV) Lagos Television (LTV), African Independent Television (AIT), Galaxy Television, Super Screen Television, Silver Bird Television amongst others demonstrating the western way of life through music, dressing and even language. This does not in any way represent the Nigerian culture. The foregoing provides the basis for assessing the influence of television viewing on young adults’ deviant behaviour in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The medium of television, although a daily part of most modern lives, remain unbelievable in the manner it may influence its audience. At the center of this unbelief lies the argument about content and medium without regard to its content (Anderson and Hoston, 2001). A situation where young adults watch all kinds of televised crime, sex and violence are bound to have serious socio-cultural implications. Indeed, television viewing is now the dominant pastime, relegating to the background other activities such as playing and home studies. As a result, young adults no longer devote enough time for their school work and vocational work. Worst sill, it is conjectured that heavy television viewers will be further alienated from the local surroundings, thereby making them strangers in their own country. According to Okoye (1993), the television culture will create Nigerians who will completely repudiate their cultural heritage, thereby complicating further the problem of national development. In view of the information provided, the study seeks to assess the social influence of television viewing on young adult’s deviant behaviour.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The general objective of this study seeks to establish the link between television viewing and young adult’s behaviour However, this study will.

  1. Asses the social influence of the television viewing on young adults disorderly behaviour.
  2. Determine the effect of television viewing on young adult’s social life.
  3. Assess the effects of televised crime and violence on young adult’s antisocial behaviour.
  4. Determine the effect of television culture on crime and other social vices among the young adults.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the social influence of viewing television programmes on young adult’s antisocial behaviour?
  2. What is the effect of television viewing programmes on young adult’s socio-cultural development?
  3. Will young adult’s viewers internalize real life situation from televised crime and violence programmes?
  4. Does television viewing contribute to the rising incidents of drugs, trafficking, internet scam, violence and kidnapping in the country?

1.5 Hypotheses

The study raises the following aspriori-expectations

  1. There is no significant relationship between television viewing programmes and antisocial behaviour.
  2. There is no significant relationship between television viewing and ones respect for society’s norms and culture.
  3. There is no significant relationship between heavy viewers and adoption of foreign cultures.
  4. There is no significant relationship between television culture and rising incidents of social vices in the country.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is relevant in the true sense that it will promote good social behaviour among growing people in Nigeria. The study has identified television viewing as a predictor of antisocial and anticultural behaviour. The result of this research study will help researchers, education social welfare workers, social critics and the general public to understand the social influence of television on young adult’s disorderly behavior.

The study will also help to promote the absorption of the Nigerian/African cultures which until the present has been characterized with good neighborliness, respect for elders, virtuousness, community orientation and collectivism. The conduct of

this study will enable government to make policy that will help media to arrange good programmes that will promote the social life of audience. It will also help government and policy makers to put adequate measures in place to check the movement of foreign films and television programmes which has eroded the cultural value of Nigerian Society. Children and Young adults will benefits. It will help build a good society.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The focus of this study is on the influence of television viewing on young adult’s anti-social behaviour, specifically in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area. It covered 120 students selected from two secondary schools in Lagos mainland Local Government Area because of time and money. Also, obtaining material posed serious constraints for this study.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms


A electronic gadget that appeals to sense of sigh and hearing. It needs electricity to be able to perform the transmission.


Watching something with one’s eye.

Adolescence or Adolescent:

A period during which teenagers (children) feel the pressure of constructing an adult identity.

Young Adults:

Young men and women that are still growing.


A behaviour that is deemed unacceptable or inappropriate. It implies child’s behaviour is consistently offensive or intolerant, or the behaviour is extraordinarily different from other children of his age and development range.


The way one responds to a stimuli or object or things. It can be described as conduct or attitude.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

The purpose of this study is to establish the correlation between television viewing and habits formation of young people. Specifically the study sought to evaluate the television viewing habits of secondary school students; identify the level of exposure to the specific television channels and programmes viewed by students of the selected schools and determine the influence of television programmes on the habits of the students in the two secondary schools. Data gathered for this study were generated from the distribution of the sum of three hundred and seventy five copies of questionnaire to a total population of three thousand two hundred and eighty two students from the two schools. However, only three hundred and forty copies of questionnaire were filled and returned by the respondents for this study.

Based on the datagathered for this research, students between the ages of 10 to 17 have been implicated as being highly viewers of the television set. It was recorded that the television set is highly accessed by the students in their homes. Furthermore, the study found out that the students watch television daily at home. The students watch television for relaxation, enlightenment and entertainment purpose. They watch television for an average of 2 hours daily. The research also found out that students have favourite television programmes out of which
films/movies ranked the highest among other television programmes viewed by the students. The study also established that the students watch television programmes because it; Increase their scope of knowledge. Increase their faith. Lightens up their mood and makes them happy. Helps them improve on their social life. Keep them informed about their environment and beyond. Keeps them aware of new brand products, teaches them about new brand products and keeps them entertained. On the type of television channels viewed by the students, this study discovered that they view foreign channels more than local ones. It was also discovered that the students watch television more in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Furthermore, this research discovered that viewing certain television programmes/contents that portray contents that are unsuitable for young minds have negative influence on their cognitive development. Such viewing patterns have been linked to incidents of social vices such as, open violence, conflict, nudity, poor academic performance, illicit sexual behaviours and drug abuse among secondary school students. Therefore there is need to provide measures to tackle the harmful influence of television viewing on secondary school students.

5.2 Conclusion

From this study, it was concluded that secondary school students are much familiar with the television set. This is evident via their access to television set and they watch it daily for different purpose on an average of 2 hours. The society seems to be less concerned about students‟ exposure to the television set. This is because it is the same society that had enabled and encourages the use of the television set without considering it influence on young people. The society seems to be quite ignorant about the harm that can be caused by electronic media to the students. Also, available data analysed from the study indicated that different television programmes are viewed by the students‟ base on their favouriteprogrammes which ranked films/movies as their mostly viewed programmes and frequent viewership of foreign televisionchannels. Some of the programme contents seemed to influence the habit formation of the students the students negatively. This is why some negative behaviors have persisted in students especially vices such as violence, aggression, nudity, poor academic performance, bad sexual behaviour and drug abuse. Hence, the implications of this study establish that there is a correlation between television viewing and negative habit formation among secondary school students. As such the findings of this study support the views of scholars who agitates that television is harmful to the cognitive development of young persons.

5.3 Recommendations

From the study it was observed that television viewing influences the habit formation of secondary school students as a result of their access and exposure to television and its various channels and programmes. Hence, the following recommendations have been formulated:

  1. Parents and guardians should endeavour to control or minimize the access to television set and frequency of television viewing by their children. This will enable them to be mindful of the level of attention their children give to the television set.
  2. Parents and adults should be active in monitoring and scrutinizing the type of channels and programmes viewed by children, especially foreign television channels and programmes.
  3. National film and Video Censor‟s Board (NFVCB) should ensure strict rules and regulations on the films and television programmes that contain violence, nudity, illicit acts and drug abuse. Hence, Bans and penalties should be strictly levied on any television stations and channels that deviates from the set down rules and regulations.

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