According to a new study in the Journal Pediatrics, researchers found that when preschoolers watched shows that stressed compassion and cooperation, they tended to act more that way themselves.
When they saw movies or television shows containing violent scenes, they became more aggressive.
The scientists assigned nearly six hundred families to one of two groups. Parents in the first group were encouraged to replace the violent shows their children watched with educational programming.
Adults were also encouraged to watch television with their children.
The second group did not change their viewing habits.
After a year, the researchers found the preschoolers who watched less violent and more child appropriate programming scored better on tests that measured cooperation and willingness to share and had fewer incidents of aggressive behavior.