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Abu Dhabi, Aug 20: Date related violence is not common here, but teenagers who watch pro-wrestling matches on television are likely to exhibit aggressive behaviour, according to psychologists.

A Reuters health report said that teenagers who regularly watch pro-wrestling television shows seem to be more likely than non-viewers to get into fights with their partners when they are on dates.

Dr Raymond Hamden, a clinical psychologist living in the UAE, said what teenagers watch affects their behaviour.

"It's called Social Learning Theory, what we observe will influence how we behave." However, Dr Hamden said date violence is not common in the UAE.

"It is not common in the UAE .. but you may find it in a small percentage with children suffering from psychopathology."

Weird behaviour

Gulf News asked teenagers and parents about date violence.

Vinu K., a 16-year-old student from India, loves to watch wrestling, but says it has never affected his behaviour with his friends.

"I just love wrestling, but I've never had a fight with my girlfriend after I watched a wrestling match or tried to apply a wrestling move on her," he said.

Lima Solh, 15, of Lebanon, said her boyfriend acts in a "very weird way" after watching a wrestling match. "He is addicted to wrestling, and he kind of mentally "becomes a wrestler" after the match is over, but he has never been aggressive with me."

Sandra Stevens, a mother of three boys ages 10, 14 and 16 keeps a close eye on what they watch.

"I don't allow my kids to watch material of aggressive nature on TV. Nowadays we are subjected to thousands of violent images daily on television. I can't monitor them 24/7 but I do my best."


The term psychopathology may also be used to denote behaviour or experience which is indicative

of mental illness, even if it does not constitute a formal diagnosis. For example, the presence of a hallucination may be considered a psychopathological sign.

In a more general sense, any behaviour or experience which causes impairment, distress or disability, particularly if it is thought to arise from a functional breakdown in either the cognitive or neurocognitive systems in the brain, may be classified as psychopathology.

Earlier study

An earlier study by the American Psychologists Association (APA) of over 80,000 youths in Minnesota showed that one out of 10 female adolescents experiences date violence and/or rape.

Nearly one in 10 girls and one in 20 boys report experiencing violence and/or being raped on a date, according to a survey of ninth and 12th grade boys and girls in Minnesota public schools.The study showed victims report more suicidal thoughts and/or attempts, higher rates of eating disorders and psychological problems, in addition to lower self-esteem scores.

New York : High school boys, and girls in particular, who regularly watch pro-wrestling television shows seem to be more likely than non-viewers to get into fights with their partners when they're on dates, new research suggests.

"High school children are very much in a rapid developmental process," study co-author Dr Robert H. DuRant told Reuters Health.

"They are affected by this," he said, citing the extreme violence involved in television wrestling as well as the blatant use of sexuality, vulgar language and derogatory terms for women.

DuRant and his team followed a random sample of 2,228 students for a six-to seven-month period. The students completed a questionnaire that asked about various risk behaviours, such as whether they had been involved in a physical fight during the previous year and if they had initiated the fight or been a victim. They were also asked how often they had watched pro wrestling during the past two weeks.

The investigators found the more frequently the students watched television wrestling, the more frequently they reported initiating or being the victim of a date fight. Also, the researchers note in their report in the journal Pediatrics, the association between television wrestling and date-fight perpetration was particularly strong for girls.

This could be because boys are more desensitised to violence or girls who already engage in violence may simply prefer to watch programmes that reinforce their behaviour.

"The bottom line is that adolescents are affected by what they are exposed to," DuRant said in a university statement.

"It's easy for parents to think that their adolescent children are just little adults, but they aren't," he told Reuters.

- Reuters


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