All CcaM scholars approach questions with nuance – with a specific focus belief that differential susceptibity influences the selection, experience, and effects of media on young peope. This means understanding the role of disposition, development, and social factors in in all aspects of our work. This is core to who we are as a Center and runs through all of our work.

This approach has been significantly supported by two large funded projects, which together have allowed CcaM researchers to take a deep dive in the role of individual differences in understanding the media experience of today’s young people. Initially, this line of research was financially supported by an ERC-Advanced Grant awarded to Professor Patti Valkenburg in which a four-year longitudinal project (900 families in the Netherlands; two cohorts; 3-7 years old; 10-14 years old) was conducted to understand whether and how children may be susceptible to media effects – particularly in the context of aggressive behavior, ADHD symptoms, cognitive ability, prosocial behavior, and social-emotional development. Scholars associated with this work included Patti Valkenburg, Jessica Taylor Piotrowski, Helen Vossen, Karin Fikkers, Sanne Nikkelen, Maria Koutamanis, and Ine Beyens. 

Since the ERC grant, this line of scholarship has been expanded as a result of the funded Consortium on Individual Development. The CID involves researchers from Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, Leiden University, University of Groningen, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Radboud University Nijmegen, and VU University Amsterdam. In this project, Patti Valkenburg and her postdoctoral team are continuing to ask why some children thrive and others do not, particularly as it relates to media content, with a specific focus on disposition and environment as relevant predictors for investigation. 

 

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