MediaWise® is the movement for everyone who cares about kids. It explains what media are doing to our children and youth and what we can do about it. MediaWise is an initiative of the National Institute on Media and the Family, a non-profit organization. MediaWise
About Us
Tools and Resources
MediaWise Columns
Facts and Tips
Research and Reports
Video Game Reviews
Movie Reviews
Email this page

Douglas A. Gentile, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Douglas A. Gentile, Ph.D. Dr. Douglas Gentile is a developmental psychologist and the Director of Research for the National Institute on Media and the Family, an organization devoted to maximizing the benefits and minimizing the harm of media on children and families through research, education and advocacy. His experience includes over 19 years conducting research with children and adults. Dr. Gentile has authored numerous studies, including :"Frogs Sell Beer: The Effects of Beer Advertisements on Adolescent Drinking Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior;" "The Effects of Violent Video Game Habits on Adolescent Aggressive Attitudes and Behaviors;" "A Validity Test of Movie, Television, and Video Game Ratings;" and "A Normative Study of Family Media Habits." He is the editor of the recent book Media Violence and Children: A Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals.

One of the National Institute on Media and the Family's core purposes is to conduct research on media's impact on children. 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 choices for their children. The Institute is currently studying the effects of video game violence on adolescents' aggressive attitudes and behaviors, and the effects of media habits on children's peer relations and acceptance. Dr. Gentile has just finished editing a newly released book, Media Violence and Children, a first-of-it's-kind reference book on the topic of media violence.

Dr. Gentile speaks regularly 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 NBC's Today Show, in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, as well as numerous other newspapers and television stations.

Dr. Gentile received his doctorate in child psychology from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the National Institute, he worked as a market researcher, a math instructor, and served as test developer and data analyst for Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey. He is currently on the faculty at Iowa State University, teaching psychology and conducting research in the Media Research Lab, which he directs. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. He was recently named Research Fellow by the Institute of Science and Society at Iowa State. He lives in Ames, Iowa with his wife Tara and daughter Lauren.

Comments and Evaluations

Children & Domestic Violence: Perspectives and Community Response
- Good visual
- Very knowledgeable speaker
- Made a strong impact on the group
- I wanted to hear all and know what I can do now
- Very interesting-presented clearly

Media Effects as a Risk Factor for Children (January 6, 1999)
- Wow! Powerful influence - excellent information
- Very knowledgeable

Governor's Scholar's Winter Institute 1999
- Your message was superb.

©2005 National Institute on Media and the Family.