Media Portrayals of Crime and Youth

  • Christopher J. Ferguson
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


It is generally well understood that fictional media portrayals of crime often present crime in sensationalized ways which do not represent reality. The cultivation hypothesis suggests that such media may result in distorted views of crime among viewers. Evidence in support or against this belief is examined. Overall, research suggests that cultivation effects, at least for fictional violence, are quite weak. However, content analyses do suggest that fictional media portrayals of both crime and youth tend to be distorted and unrealistic. Racial minorities are often portrayed as criminal perpetrators in fictional media as often are youth. However, perhaps fortunately, viewers do not appear to attend significantly to fictional media when forming beliefs about crime.


Video Game Organize Crime Violent Crime Television News Moral Panic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher J. Ferguson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral SciencesTexas A&M International UniversityLaredoUSA

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