Karin Fikkers, a PhD student at CcaM, is currently a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. On February 25, she gave a presentation at APPC about her research on the effects of media violence on aggressive behavior as well as her experiences as a doctoral student in the Netherlands. 

The goal of Karin’s research visit at APPC is to gain a broader knowledge of media effects research by connecting with researchers both within and outside her field.  During her time at APPC, Karin has had the opportunity learn from Dr. Amy Jordan, an expert in the field of children’s media use. Karin has also been following courses at the Annenberg School for Communication and attending colloquia given by a range of Communication scholars.

During her visit, Karin has continued working on her research within the ERC-funded CcaM project “The entertainization of childhood” (PI: Professor Patti Valkenburg). In this project, she focuses on the relationship between media violence and aggressive behavior in adolescents. Specifically, she investigates how social influences (family conflict, peer norms) can increase the influence of media violence on aggression. The notion that not all children are equally vulnerable to media content is a central theme in Karin’s research as well as in the larger ERC project.

In her presentation at APPC, Karin discussed differences between PhD projects in the Netherlands and in the United States. She introduced her research project, and presented results of a study into the combined role of family conflict and media violence on adolescents’ aggression. She also engaged in a discussion on her current research ideas, capitalizing on the comprehensive knowledge on health communication that exists at Annenberg. 


Photo: Karin Fikkers and Amy Jordan

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