Media and Violence: Intervention Strategies for Reducing Aggression

Joanne Cantor, Barbara J. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this article, we review research that explores how the effects of media violence on aggression may be diminished and how media productions may be used to reduce aggressive attitudes and behaviors. Studies show that adults' comments before or during media exposure can reduce the impact of violent programming on children's aggressiveness under some circumstances. Experiments involving more extensive media literacy curricula show that some approaches can alter attitudes toward media violence and, in a few cases, intervene in aggressive behavior. Studies of the impact of antiviolence media productions reveal that although such efforts can be effective, unanticipated "boomerang" effects are prevalent. Overall, the effectiveness of the 3 types of interventions was highly variable, and age and gender differences were prominent. The findings suggest that more research is needed to determine the best approaches to developing parental interventions, media literacy strategies, and prosocial media presentations for reducing youth violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-403
Number of pages41
JournalMedia Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology


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