Publication Date



Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Television


Research indicates that relationally aggressive media exposure is positively associated with relational aggression in children. Theories of media effects suggest that these associations may be mediated by aggressive cognitions. Although parental mediation can attenuate the effects of violent media, it is unknown whether there are similar benefits of parental mediation of relationally aggressive media. The current study examined concurrent and longitudinal associations between relationally aggressive television and movie exposure and normative beliefs about relational aggression, and whether parental mediation moderates these associations. Participants were 103 children (50% female) in grades 3-6 and their parents. The following year, 48 children (52% female) were again assessed. Relationally aggressive media exposure predicted concurrent relational aggression norms, even after controlling for physically aggressive media exposure and physical aggression norms. Relationally aggressive television and movie exposure predicted greater subsequent approval of relational aggression only among children whose parents engaged in low levels of active mediation.

Document Type

Accepted Version


This article is the author-created version that incorporates referee comments. It is the accepted-for-publication version.


The definitive version is available at

Original Citation

Jennifer Ruh Linder & Nicole E. Werner
Relationally aggressive media exposure and children’s normative beliefs: Does parental mediation matter?
Family Relations, 2012, volume 61, issue 3, pages 488-500


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