Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson present findings from their book, Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do (Simon & Schuster, 2008), including the complex ways in which video games may benefit or disadvantage children. They will also talk about myths and politics in media violence research, and how they influence the views of academics and mass media. Lawrence Kutner, Ph.D. and Cheryl K. Olson, Sc.D. are cofounders and co-directors (with Eugene Beresin, M.D.) of the Center for Mental Health and Media at Massachusetts General Hospital. They are both on the psychiatry faculty of Harvard Medical School. Kutner received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and trained at the Mayo Clinic. He’s a licensed psychologist and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He wrote the “Parent & Child” column for the New York Times as well as five books on child development. Olson was principal investigator for a $1.5 million study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice on the effects of video games on young teenagers, which formed the basis for Grand Theft Childhood. She has a Doctor of Science degree in health and social behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a postdoctoral certificate in pharmaceutical medicine from the University of Basel.
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