Applying Risk and Resilience Models to Predicting the Effects of Media Violence on Development

Sara Prot, D. A. Gentile

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Citations (Scopus)


Although the effects of media violence on children and adolescents have been studied for over 50 years, they remain controversial. Much of this controversy is driven by a misunderstanding of causality that seeks the cause of atrocities such as school shootings. Luckily, several recent developments in risk and resilience theories offer a way out of this controversy. Four risk and resilience models are described, including the cascade model, dose–response gradients, pathway models, and turning-point models. Each is described and applied to the existing media effects literature. Recommendations for future research are discussed with regard to each model. In addition, we examine current developments in theorizing that stressors have sensitizing versus steeling effects and recent interest in biological and gene by environment interactions. We also discuss several of the cultural aspects that have supported the polarization and misunderstanding of the literature, and argue that applying risk and resilience models to the theories and data offers a more balanced way to understand the subtle effects of media violence on aggression within a multicausal perspective
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
EditorsMaricela Correa-Chávez, Rebeca Mejía-Arauz, Barbara Rogoff
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-803121-6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

The full text is currently unavailable on the repository


  • Media violence
  • Risk and resilience models
  • Aggression
  • Cascade effects
  • Dose–response gradients
  • Pathway models
  • Turning-point effects
  • Steeling effects
  • Sensitizing effects


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