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Dr. Douglas Gentile


Researcher, scientist, author, educator, award-winner, and a leading expert in effects of mass media on children, adolescents, and adults

Dr. Douglas Gentile is a research scientist, author, award-winning educator, and is an associate professor of developmental psychology at Iowa State University. His experience includes over 20 years conducting research with children and adults. He is the editor of the book Media Violence and Children (2003, Praeger Press), and co-author of the book Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy (2007, Oxford University Press).  He has authored over 30 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, including studies on the positive and negative effects of video games on children in several countries, the validity of the American media ratings, how screen time contributes to youth obesity, and what is being called video game and Internet “addiction.”

Dr. Gentile runs the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University where he conducts research on media’s impact on children and adults. As the leader of this effort, Dr. Gentile develops and conducts research projects designed to give parents and other caregivers the kind of information they need and want to make informed media chioces for their children.  His research has been supported by several grants, including grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Centers for Disease Control.

Dr. Gentile speaks internationally to community, education, health care, and parent groups. Praised as an engaging and energetic speaker, he speaks about issues such as the connection between media and brain development, the effects of television and video game violence, the effects of tobacco and alcohol advertising on adolescents, and the psychology of advertising. He has been featured on such shows as National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and Public Radio International’s To the Point, and his work has been reported on CNN, in the New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles Times, as well as numerous other newspapers and television stations.

Dr. Gentile received his doctorate in child psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his work at Iowa State University, he was the Director of Research for the non-profit National Institute on Media and the Family, he worked as a market researcher, a math instructor, and served as test developer and data analyst for Educational Testing Services in Princeton, New Jersey. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. He lives in Ames, Iowa with his daughter, Lauren.