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Children’s Emotional Development and Media Influence Essay

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Updated: Jul 5th, 2021


The emotional development of a person is one of the fundamental aspects of human growth as it impacts his/her life, relations with other people, and the ability to cooperate with peers or colleagues. It is an extremely broad domain, and the formation of the first responses to various stressors starts in early childhood when a child perceives the world around them and tries to express his/her feelings and emotions.

Moreover, as far as child psyche is flexible, and can easily adapt to various factors or alterations in the surrounding, this stage of people’s growth is considered extremely important for the formation of the appropriate behavioral patterns and development of the ability to cooperate with other individuals (Santrock, 2018). However, there are also multiple challenges that might be associated with this aspect as the appearance of various deviations, or problematic issues might pose a threat to future socialization.

Main body

The complexity of the given aspect attracts the attention of various populations. First, specialists working in the sphere and analyzing factors that shape emotional responses emphasize the fact that the formation of the correct representation of emotional development in children is vital for their evolution and growth. However, there is also another powerful actor that employs this theme because of its topicality and importance for people (Santrock, 2018). Media often adds this theme to movies that revolve around the development of a person, his/her relations with peers, and place in the community. Because of the growing popularity of this sphere and its ability to impact broad populations, children’s representation of emotional development becomes significantly affected by media in various ways.

For instance, the movie Jack can be considered an example of how the modern filmmaking industry might affect individuals. The main character of this work is Jack, a boy with Werner Syndrome (Mestres & Coppola, 1996). In other words, he is a boy living in the body of an adult man. This characteristic of the main character impacts the whole movie as Jack has to face multiple challenges arising because of his appearance. The film reveals the complexity of his relations with peers who first fail to accept this forty-one-year-old man. However, with the development of the story, they start to use him for various purposes, such as to get adult magazines, deal with bullies, or win a basketball match (Mestres & Coppola, 1996).

All these activities evidence that Jack remains a child in the body of an adult, or, his emotional development does not correspond to his appearance. In the first half of the movie, it seems that Jack does not suffer from this disease, and his psyche remains stable.

With the development of the story, one can see that the existence of this incongruity is a serious problem for the main character. His attempts to behave as a normal person fail because of his age and inappropriate appearance. Additionally, the accident in the bar with Dolores and his imprisonment become serious stress resulting in Jack’s undesired to leave his rooms (Mestres & Coppola, 1996). Only the intervention of the whole school and his friends helps him to recover and return to his usual activities.

In such a way, the movie perfectly shows the importance of the emotional development of a person. From the perspective of a child, a person who behaves in a specific way can be related to a particular cohort, and they do not see a problem in the divergence between the appearance and psyche. However, looking at people’s responses and their ways of communication with such a person, they start to realize the existence of a certain deviation and complex issues (Santrock, 2018).

The movie shows that it is important for children to understand the existing interdependence between the age of a person, his/her emotional status, and appearance. As far as in normal situations, the body represents the real developmental stage of any individual, his/her behavior should correspond to it.

The movie influences children in several ways. First, it shows the importance of emotional development and problems that might appear when a person fails to form appropriate responses and behavioral patterns. Jack tries to behave like a normal child and play with his peers. Unfortunately, in some situations, it does not work because of his appearance. Children can understand the fact that emotionally, he remains a small boy, which becomes the main force impacting all his actions, attitudes, and decisions. For a person with the body of an adult man, it might result in the appearance of serious problems in all spheres of his life, both personal and professional. That is why young viewers can understand that it is critical to evolve appropriately and form responses that correlate with age.

Second, it emphasizes the necessity of support that should be provided to people with problems in this sphere. Emotional development is a social process that is impacted by all individuals who cooperate with a person. Any human being is a social creature, which means that there are behavioral patterns and responses that are considered a norm. In other words, acts acceptable for a child are not allowed for an adult. This comes from the existing standards of emotional development and the peculiarities of people’s psyche that evolves along with an individual and should possess certain qualities at different developmental stages (Santrock, 2018).

It is taken as a guarantee of successful cooperation and the ability to create sound relations with peers. For this reason, emotional development can be accepted as a fundamental aspect of the life of any individual. The existence of problems in this sphere might deprive a person of a chance for future evolution and happiness. From this perspective, the end of the movie emphasizes the critical need for support that can be provided by the community to show that a person is still welcomed, regardless of his/her problems in particular spheres.


Altogether, one should accept the fact that the discussed aspect is one of the fundamental elements of human growth. There are multiple factors that impact the formation of children’s ideas of emotional development and their responses to various triggers. Media is one of these triggers as its popularity provides multiple ways in which the young generation can be influenced. There are many movies, such as Jack, which outline problems in the emotional sphere and their importance.

Speaking about this very film, it can be taken as a successful example showing children the role emotions, and psyche of a person plays in his/her growth and socialization. Using Jack and his life as an example, one can prove the importance of peers, surrounding, and their impact on a child and his/her socialization. It also can teach children sympathy and outline correct behavioral patterns that can be employed to help people who have some delays in their development.


Mestres, R. (Producer), & Coppola, F. (Director). (1996). Jack [Motion Picture]. United States: Buena Vista Pictures.

Santrock, J. (2018). Life-span development (17th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education.

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1. IvyPanda. "Children’s Emotional Development and Media Influence." July 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/childrens-emotional-development-and-media-influence/.


IvyPanda. "Children’s Emotional Development and Media Influence." July 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/childrens-emotional-development-and-media-influence/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Children’s Emotional Development and Media Influence." July 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/childrens-emotional-development-and-media-influence/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Children’s Emotional Development and Media Influence'. 5 July.

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