Understanding The 'Super Hero Culture' And How It Negatively Impacts A Child's Behavior

By Abbie Kraft, Parent Herald January 14, 12:54 pm

Superheroes can easily capture a child's attention but studies suggest that the superhero culture can do more harm than good in terms of the child's overall behavior. It was mentioned that some children would highly idolize superheroes, which can encourage violence.

Superheroes are often portrayed as someone who is most likely tasked to save the day. Recent findings, however, reveal that children who idolize superheroes tend to be more aggressive.

BYU family life professor Sarah M. Coyne and her team did a study on superheroes and the impact it does towards pre-schoolers. The study focused on children in the pre-school level. And it was mentioned that there were not positive traits that surfaced towards children who idolized superheroes.

"So many preschoolers are into superheroes and so many parents think that the superhero culture will help their kids defend others and be nicer to their peers," Coyne said."But our study shows the exact opposite. Again, I'd say to have moderation, have your kids involved in all sorts of activities, and just have superheroes be one of many, many things that they like to do and engage with."

The study, which was published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, cited that children are prone to picking up the negative behavior of superheroes. Coy then added that parents should be keen when it comes to pointing out the negative effects of superheroes with their children.

Even though it was mentioned that children looking up to superheroes can potentially impact their behavior in a negative way, Coyne mentioned that children are not totally prohibited from watching superhero movies but moderation and parental supervision should be prioritized.

APA also added that today's superhero movies send's out a different message to boys. Psychologist Sharon Lamb, Ph.D. pointed out that superheroes of this generation tend to portray two personas where they can be a complete gentleman with their costumes and be someone who disrespects women and lives a luxurious lifestyle when they are not their alter egos.

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