Preadolescents’ Emotional and Prosocial Responses to Negative TV News: Investigating the Beneficial Effects of Constructive Reporting and Peer Discussion
Preadolescents' Emotional and Prosocial Responses to Negative TV News: Investigating the Beneficial Effects of Constructive Reporting and Peer Discussion
Mariska Kleemans 0 1
● Luise F. Schlindwein 0 1
● Roos Dohmen 0 1
0 Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University , Nijmegen , The Netherlands
1 Luise F. Schlindwein
Watching news is important for preadolescents, but it may also harm their well-being. This study examined whether applying insights from positive psychology to news production can reduce this potential harm, by reducing negative emotional responses and enhancing positive emotional responses to negative news, and by encouraging prosocial intentions. Moreover, we explored whether peer discussion strengthened these effects. Preadolescents (n = 336; 9-13 years old; 48.5% female) were exposed to either constructive (solution-based news including positive emotions) or nonconstructive news. Subsequently, half of the children assigned to the constructive and the nonconstructive condition participated in a peer discussion. The findings showed that exposure to constructive news resulted in more positive emotional responses and less negative emotional responses as compared to nonconstructive news. Moreover, discussing the news with peers led to more positive and less negative emotional responses among preadolescents who watched the nonconstructive newscast, and to more prosocial intentions among preadolescents who watched constructive news. In all, constructive news reporting and peer discussion could function as tools to make negative news less harmful for preadolescents.
News ● Positive (media) psychology ●; Constructive journalism ● Peer discussion ● Emotions ●; Prosocial intentions
Informing preadolescents about what is going on in the
world contributes to their socialization into critical and
autonomous citizens (van Deth et al. 2011), and can
encourage their prosocial intentions and behaviors (de
Leeuw et al. 2015). Journalists, politicians, and academics
therefore argue that preadolescents’ engagement with news
is important (Koltay 2011; Tuominen and Kotilainen 2012).
In addition, preadolescents themselves say that they want to
follow the news (Alon-Tirosh and Lemish 2014; Carter
et al. 2009). However, it has been suggested that exposure
to the predominantly negative stories in the news results in
increased negative emotional responses, which in turn may
lead to anxiety-related behaviors, such as having nightmares
(e.g., Buijzen et al. 2007; Riddle et al. 2012). Moreover,
prior research indicated that negative, violent television
content heightens antisocial behavior in preadolescents (c.f.,
Browne and Hamilton-Giachritsis 2005). Therefore, the
current study aims to examine the usefulness of other
framings of the news to inform preadolescents between
9–13 years old about negative news events. To this end, we
investigate whether applying insights from positive
psychology to news tailored at preadolescents can improve
their emotional responses and may encourage prosocial
intentions. We use stimuli from a Dutch children’s
television news program that targets an audience between
approximately 9 and 13 years old (c.f., Walma van der
Molen and de Vries 2003), because such tailored newscasts
serve as major news source for preadolescents in several
Western countries across the world (c.f., Alon-Tirosh and
Lemish 2014; Carter et al. 2009; Walma van der Molen and
de Vries 2003).
Positive Psychology in News: Constructive Journalism
Inspired by notions from positive psychology, an innovative
kind of news reporting recently emerged in the field of
journalism, labeled “constructive journalism” (Gyldensted
2015; Haagerup 2014; McIntyre 2015). Positive psychology
focuses on the flourishing of individuals, communities, and
societies (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi 2000), and
constructive journalism aims to contribute to this by energizing
and inspiring people through news reports (Gyldensted
2015). To reach this aim, journalists are encouraged to give
possible solutions for problems in their news stories and to
foster a positive perspective on events by including positive
emotions (Gyldensted 2015; McIntyre 2015). Therewith,
constructive journalism takes distance from the negativity
bias that dominates today’s news reporting. Notably,
constructive journalism is not about bringing more positive
news, but about framing negative stories in a more positive,
constructive way (Gyldensted 2015; Haagerup 2014;
McIntyre 2015). Given the challenges that producers of
newscasts tailored at preadolescents face when reporting
about negative events (c.f., Alon-Tirosh and Lemish 2014;
Walma van der Molen and de Vries 2003), it is worth
exploring whether introducing insights from positive
psychology to news (via constructive news reporting) helps to
improve preadolescents’ responses to news and to increase
their prosocial intentions.
The two principal strategies for creating constructive
stories (i.e., solution-based news reporting and including
positive emotions in negative stories) are derived from the
field of positive psychology. First, Pals’ (2006) idea of
coherent positive resolution served as inspiration. Positive
coherent resolution involves “the construction of a coherent
and complete story of a difficult event that ends positively,
conveying a sense of emotional resolution or closure” (Pals
2006, p. 1082). Although not all stories can have a happy
end, giving people a sense of narrative completion may help
to diminish the negative emotional impact of the story. This
may enhance their individual well-being which, in turn,
positively affects societal well-being (McIntyre 2015).
Applying this to news, a solution-based—instead of
problem-based—way of news reporting can provide narrative
completion. By presenting solutions and therewith giving
the audience the impression that there is hope for the future,
news consumers will feel better (Gyldensted 2015;
McIntyre 2015). In addition, the presented solutions may serve as
mobilizing information (c.f., McIntyre 2015). By showing
what potential solutions are, the audience can become
inspired to contribute to these solutions.
Second, the broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson 1998,
2001) is used to conceptualize constructive news reporting.
In the broaden-and-build theory, it is argued that positive
emotions are able to broaden an individual’s thought-action
repertoire, that is the range of potential actions the body and
mind are prepared to take. Positive emotions lead to a more
positive, broadened mindset and broadened behaviors (e.g.,
joy may not only cause feelings of happiness, but also spark
the urge to play, c.f., Fredrickson 2004). Therewith, it can
inspire innovative thoughts and actions in individuals
(Fredrickson 1998, 2001). This, in turn, may also be
beneficial for communities and societies, because individuals
with a broadened repertoire of social and intellectual
resources may also have advanced skills in interpersonal
relationships. In contrast, negative emotions have an
opposite effect, because they narrow one’s thoughts and
actions (Fredrickson 1998, 2001). In the context of news,
this suggests that stories should include more positive
emotions instead of emphasizing particularly negative
emotions (McIntyre 2015). News producers can, for
example, accomplish this by focusing in the news report on
stories of survivors instead of victims.
In all, both solution-based news reporting and the
inclusion of positive emotions are expected to improve
emotional responses to news and to inspire people to behave
in a more prosocial manner (e.g., by offering help). Prior
studies among an adult population provide preliminary
support for this (Gyldensted 2011; McIntyre 2015).
Although the effects of constructive television news
reporting are not yet studied among preadolescents, one
might expect that constructive stories may also be able to
improve emotional responses and prosocial intentions in
preadolescents. A study by de Leeuw and colleagues (2015)
provides preliminary support for particularly the latter. They
found that prosocial news content, in which preadolescents
showed how they offered help (i.e., an example of
solutionbased news), encouraged preadolescents who watched this
news to set up a project for a charity organization and to
The Additional Effects of Peer Discussion
When studying preadolescents’ reactions to negative news,
it is interesting to take peer discussions after news exposure
into account. In the Netherlands, where this study was
conducted, a substantial amount of preadolescents watches
children’s news programs together with their peers in the
classroom (c.f., de Leeuw et al. 2015; NOS 2014). After
watching, it is reasonable that in-class discussions about the
news take place. Until now, no research has been conducted
on the impact of such discussions on preadolescents’
reactions to news. There are, however, reasons to expect
positive effects of peer discussion after news exposure.
According to Wilkinson (2009), discussions in classrooms
are defined as collaborative conversations between teachers
and students, or between students only, with the purpose of
fostering students’ thinking, learning, problem solving,
comprehension, and appreciation of the materials.
The importance and impact of discussions among peers
has already been stressed by several pioneers in the field of
psychology, such as Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Harry
Stack Sullivan (c.f., Damon 1984). Their theoretical
positions provide a conceptual framework for the impact of
discussions among peers in the present study. Peer
discussions lead to the prevention of misunderstandings, the search
for better solutions, discovery learning and creative thinking,
and better social competences, such as friendly and fair
behavior in interpersonal relationships (Damon 1984; Slavin
2014). Peer-related activities predict preadolescents’ social
and academic competences at school, including more
frequent displays of prosocial behavior and less antisocial
behavior (Wentzel et al. 2009). In addition, they describe
peer discussion itself as a form of prosocial behavior,
including, for example, helping behavior, cooperation, and
providing emotional support. Therefore, in addition to
investigating the influence of constructive news reporting,
this study also explores the effects of peer discussion on the
responses of preadolescents to negative news.
It can be expected that peer discussion alone has a
positive influence on the emotions of preadolescents
because it fosters, among other things, a better
understanding of the news content and leads to friendly and fair
behavior (Damon 1984; Slavin 2014). Moreover, based on
prior research (Wentzel et al. 2009), one might expect that
peer discussion reinforces preadolescents’ prosociality.
Although studies in this regard specifically show that longer
peer interactions have an effect, we will explore whether
holding only one discussion with peers may also affect
prosociality. A single peer discussion may not be strong
enough to affect behavior, which is why we focus on
prosocial intentions, a close cognitive antecedent of behavior
(c.f., Ajzen and Fishbein 2005). Because of the assumptions
of direct effects of peer discussion on both emotional
responses and prosocial intentions, peer discussion is
expected to strengthen the effect of constructive news
reporting on both the emotional responses of preadolescents
and their prosocial intentions.
Constructive news reporting is hypothesized to improve
emotional responses to news and to inspire children to be
more prosocial, because the constructive elements (i.e.,
including solutions and positive emotions) create a sense of
emotional resolution (c.f., Pals 2006), and may broaden
one’s thought-action repertoire in a more positive,
innovative way (c.f., Fredrickson 1998, 2001). Therefore, we
hypothesize that watching constructive news will lead to
less negative emotions and a smaller decrease in positive
emotions in preadolescents than watching nonconstructive
news (Hypothesis 1), and that watching constructive news
will lead to more prosocial intentions among preadolescents
than watching nonconstructive news (Hypothesis 2).
In addition, we expect that peer discussion about the
news moderates the effect of constructive news reporting on
both the emotional responses of preadolescents and their
prosocial intentions, because peer discussion in itself
fosters, among other things, friendly and fair behavior (Damon
1984; Slavin 2014) and prosociality (Wentzel et al. 2009).
Therefore, we hypothesize that discussing news with peers
will enhance the expected positive effect of constructive
news reporting on preadolescents’ emotional responses to
news (Hypothesis 3), and on preadolescents’ prosocial
intentions (Hypothesis 4).
We conducted a between-subjects experiment in which
preadolescents were exposed to either constructive or
nonconstructive television news. Both before and after exposure
to a television newscast, their emotions were measured.
Moreover, after watching the news, preadolescents indicated
their prosocial intentions. For half of the preadolescents, the
experiment ended here. The other half participated in a peer
discussion about the news. After this discussion, we again
measured their emotions and prosocial intentions.
The sample size for the current study was based on an a
priori power analysis which was conducted in G*Power 3.1
(Faul et al. 2007, 2009). Assuming an effect size F = 0.14, a
significance level of α = .05, and four participant groups, a
total of at least 274 participants was determined. This would
provide a power of 80% in order to detect effects. The
actual sample consisted of 336 preadolescents (48.5%
female; Mage = 10.60; SDage = 1.17). Participants were
between the ages of 9 and 13 years, which is in accordance
with the target group of children’s TV news (Walma van der
Molen and de Vries 2003).
Preadolescents were recruited from four primary schools
across the Netherlands. In addition to obtaining active
consent to participate from the head of each school and the
preadolescents themselves, a letter with a description of the
study as well as the request to give passive consent was
distributed among the parents of the preadolescents. In this
letter, it was further stressed that all information would be
treated anonymously and confidentially. Almost all parents
(99%) and preadolescents (98%) gave, respectively, passive
and active consent.
The data were collected in classrooms, using
paper-andpencil questionnaires. In the beginning of the experimental
session, an entire class was randomly assigned to either the
experimental (constructive, n = 166) or control
(nonconstructive, n = 170) condition. In addition, within these
conditions, classes were also randomly assigned to the peer
discussion condition or the condition in which no peer
discussion was included. The amount of children that
participated in the discussion was roughly the same in the
constructive (n = 76) and nonconstructive condition (n =
81). In the no peer discussion condition, the number of
participants was also comparable between the constructive
(n = 90) and nonconstructive condition (n = 89). The mean
age of the preadolescents in the peer discussion condition
(M = 10.59; SD = 1.17) was similar to the mean age of the
preadolescents that did not participate in a peer discussion
(M = 10.60; SD = 1.18).
After individually filling out the pre-exposure
questionnaire—capturing the preadolescents’ demographic
characteristics and their emotional state at that moment—
preadolescents watched a short news program that either
included constructive or nonconstructive news items. Then,
preadolescents were asked to, again individually, fill out the
second questionnaire (post-exposure) capturing their
emotional responses and prosocial intentions after watching the
newscast. For approximately half of the classes (n = 179
preadolescents), the experiment ended here. These
preadolescents were thanked and debriefed.
The other classes (including n = 157 preadolescents)
participated in a peer discussion. Within each class,
preadolescents were divided in groups of three or four. In order
to control the direction of the peer discussions held after
watching the news, an educational tool called “the placemat
method” was used (Craigen and Green 1999; Förrer et al.
2000). A large piece of paper (a placemat) was placed on a
table. Because a maximum of four preadolescents
participated in a peer discussion group, this paper was divided into
four equal areas (corners of the paper, one for each child)
and an area in the middle of the paper. First, preadolescents
were asked to individually write down their opinion
concerning the statement: “Thinking back to the broadcast you
just have seen, what thoughts, feelings, and ideas come into
your mind first?”. After 2 min, their task was to discuss with
the other two/three members of their discussion group what
they just had written down in the corner of the paper they
were assigned to. After that, they got another 2 min to select
the three most important ideas that were discussed and to
write them down in the middle of the paper. This was the
end of the peer discussion task, after which the participating
preadolescents were asked to fill out a last questionnaire
(follow up), again capturing their emotional responses and
prosocial intentions with regard to the newscast they saw.
Afterwards, these preadolescents were also debriefed and
thanked for their participation.
Together with news producers from the NOS
Jeugdjournaal, a popular children’s TV news program in the
Netherlands, two professionally looking versions of the news
program were created. We only used real footage that was
broadcast in newscasts of the NOS Jeugdjournaal. Due to
findings of several studies suggesting that news about
natural disasters is one of the top categories that frightens
preadolescents when watching news (c.f., Cantor and
Nathanson 1996; Riddle et al. 2012), participating
preadolescents were exposed to news reports about the 2011
tsunami nearby Sendai in Japan. We selected this particular
event, because a lot of video material was available.
Moreover, the time difference between the moment that the
event happened and the data collection played a role. All
materials that were used to construct the newscasts were
broadcast on television between 12 and 18 March in 2011.
The experiment was conducted in the spring of 2016.
Therefore, it was unlikely that the preadolescents in our
sample saw the original newscasts about the topic or had
living memories of the tsunami in Japan that happened 5
The structures of the constructive and the nonconstructive
newscast were comparable (see Table 1). After the tune that
marked the beginning of the program, both versions of the
newscast consisted of an opening presenting general
information about the tsunami, followed by three news items of
approximately the same duration, and an ending and end
tune. The opening and the ending were kept the same in both
the constructive and nonconstructive version. Not only the
same audio information—presenting the most important
information about the 2011 tsunami in Japan—but also the
same video information was used here. The opening item
(1:03 min) contained, for example, information about the
number of people killed, the number of people still missing,
and about the consequences of the tsunami. In addition, the
participants saw the same pictures of the havoc in Japan.
Therewith, the magnitude of the disaster was presented in
exactly the same way in both news conditions.
The three items in the middle of each broadcast
were different based on the application of elements from
positive psychology. The constructive version included
solution-based elements and positive emotions (c.f.,
Gyldensted 2015; McIntyre 2015). Specifically, the first item
contained a report about the search for survivors. It showed
that several countries sent military aid and tracker dogs to
Japan, fostering hope and providing solution-based
information. Item 2 showed parts of an interview with two
Japanese children who live in the Netherlands. They
expressed their happiness about the fact that their
grandparents in Japan were fine. Therewith, positive emotions
were included in the newscast. Item 3 contained an
interview with a Japanese girl describing finding her dog after
having him lost for 1 week. Therewith, the focus was on the
survivors (instead of victims) and along with this, positive
emotions were expressed. The total duration of the
constructive newscast was 2 min and 49 s.
The nonconstructive version also included three news
items in the middle of the newscast. The topics of these
items were comparable to the stories in the constructive
newscast. The first item was also about the search for
survivors, but particularly emphasized how difficult the search
was. It focused on negative consequences of the disaster
rather than providing possible solutions. Item 2 showed
parts of the interview with the same two Japanese children
as used in the constructive newscast. However, in the
nonconstructive newscast they expressed their sorrow and
sadness about not being able to visit their grandparents in
Japan. Item 3 focused on the victims rather than the
survivors. A man, standing in the middle of the havoc, reported
that there are a lot of victims and that this is of course very
sad news. The nonconstructive newscast had a total duration
of 2 min and 37 s.
In order to measure the emotional responses of the
preadolescents, both before and after exposure to the news
program as well as after the peer discussion, preadolescents
were asked to indicate how they felt on visual analog scales
(VAS) ranging from 0 to 100 (100 mm of length). VAS are
shown to be a valid, reliable, and sensitive tool for assessing
individual subjective feelings (Davey et al. 2007;
LaraMuñoz et al. 2004; Li et al. 2013). Next to that, the VAS is
1 For exploratory purposes, we also measured enjoyment (post
exposure and follow up) by asking preadolescents to indicate on a
4point scale (ranging from 1 = totally disagree to 4 = totally disagree)
how exciting, delightful, boring, stupid, enjoyable, and dull they
experienced the news program. Principal component analyses
indicated that only the items “delightful” and “enjoyable” together formed a
discernible dimension. Analyses with these two items showed that
there were no differences in enjoyment after watching either
constructive or nonconstructive news. Moreover, peer discussion did not
affect enjoyment. Since this investigation was exploratory, and
because of limitations in the measurement of enjoyment, we decided to
exclude “enjoyment” as dependent variable in the study.
unaffected by the limited test-taking skills of younger
participants. Therefore, VAS is frequently used in medical
settings (e.g., to let children indicate pain). It is also used to
measure emotional responses to media messages. For
example, Branton and colleagues (2014) used VAS to
measure both positive and negative emotions before and
after video gaming. In the current study, we use a VAS in
which an emoticon representing the lack of the emotion was
displayed on the left end point, whereas on the right end
point an emoticon representing the emotion was displayed.
Based on Keltner et al. (2014), the four primary emotions—
joy, anger, sadness, and fear—that children express already
very early in life, were used. In each questionnaire, these
and a synonym for each emotion (respectively happiness,
madness, sorrow, and anxiety) were included in order to
measure the preadolescents’ emotional responses as
extensive as possible.
Then, principal component analyses (PCAs) for the two
positive emotions and the six negative emotions measured
before the newscast, after the newscast, and after peer
discussion were conducted separately. Across all testing
moments, the PCAs and reliability analyses presented
comparable results. The Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin (KMO)
measure was in all cases greater or equal to 0.50. Therefore,
it verified sampling adequacy for both the positive emotions
and negative emotions. Moreover, Bartlett’s test of
sphericity was always significant (p < .001). We therefore
assumed that the correlations between the items were large
enough to conduct the PCAs. Both the criterion of
component loadings greater than 0.60, and the criterion of
dimensions with eigenvalues greater than 1 proposed one
component for each PCA (c.f., Kline 1994). Cronbach’s
alpha for each PCA was sufficient, ranging between α = .79
and α = .93 (see Table 2). Based on this, the following four
variables were constructed.
A variable for positive emotions was constructed by, first,
subtracting the mean scores on both the happy and joyful
items after and before exposure to the newscast. Second,
based on these two pre-post difference scores, a mean score
for positive emotions was calculated. This variable thus
indicated the change in positive emotions caused by the
exposure to the news. The negative mean score for this
variable (M = −20.38; SD = 28.09) indicates that positive
emotions decreased after exposure to the newscast.
The variable negative emotions was constructed by
calculating pre-post difference scores for each of the six negative
emotions (i.e., subtracting the scores on how angry, mad,
Table 1 Content of the constructive vs. nonconstructive version of the newscast about the 2011 Tsunami nearby Sendai, Japan
Table 2 Descriptive statistics for positive and negative emotional
responses per testing moment
sad, sorrowful, scared, and anxious preadolescents felt after
and before the newscast). Based on these six pre-post
difference scores, a mean score for negative emotions was
calculated, indicating how negative emotions were
influenced by exposure to the newscast. As the mean score
(M = 8.48; SD = 15.16) shows, participants experienced an
increase in negative emotional feelings after exposure to the
Final level of positive emotions
To investigate the influence of peer discussion on
preadolescents’ emotional responses, we constructed another
variable for positive emotions—in which we combined the
scores on the positive emotions of the preadolescents who
participated in a peer discussion after having watched the
newscast (follow up measure) with the answers of the
preadolescents who did not discuss after the newscast
(postexposure measure). We refer to this variable as final level of
positive emotions, because they represent the level of
positive emotions that preadolescents experienced at the last
moment they were measured (M = 64.29; SD = 29.94).
Final level of negative emotions
A similar procedure as described before was used to
construct a variable representing the final level of negative
emotions. The levels of negative emotions of participants
who did not participate in a peer discussion (measured
directly after exposure to the newscasts) were combined
with the levels of negative emotions of the participants after
participating in the peer discussion (follow up measures) to
indicate their negative emotional feelings at the end of the
experiment (M = 13.55; SD = 16.69).
Preadolescents’ prosocial intentions were measured with
four items derived from McIntyre (2015). With these items,
she aimed to measure how confident participants felt to
contribute to social change (i.e., perceived self-efficacy).
We believe that the items are also useful to measure
prosocial intentions, because they reflect prosocial activities
that people can perform to offer help. We tailored the items
to the content of the newscast used in the current study and
adapted the response categories from totally unconfident/
confident to totally disagree/agree to make the items useful
for the current study.
To measure prosocial intentions, preadolescents were
asked to indicate on a 4-point scale (ranging from 1 =
totally disagree to 4 = totally agree) whether they: (1)
thought nothing could be done to save the people in Japan,
(2) wanted to help the people in Japan, (3) wanted to give
money to aid organizations in order to help the people in
Japan, and (4) wanted to start a campaign to help the people
in Japan. These questions were included in the
questionnaires both after exposure to the newscast and after peer
First, a principal component analysis (post-exposure
measures) indicated that the first item (after reversing) did
not fit the other three questions because the factor loading
was extremely low (.108). Moreover, the content of this
item does not represent a clear (non)prosocial intention. We
therefore excluded this item from the analysis. Again, a
PCA was conducted with the remaining three items. The
KMO measure verified sampling adequacy (>.500), and
Bartlett’s test of sphericity (p < .001) confirmed that the
correlations between the items were large enough to
conduct the PCA. The factor loading of the item “I want to help
the people in Japan” was only 0.590, indicating that the
criterion of component loadings >.60 was only partly
reached. However, the criterion of dimensions with
eigenvalues >1 still yielded one component for the PCAs.
Moreover, Cronbach’s alpha was acceptable (α = .75).
Therefore, the variable prosocial intentions was constructed
by calculating the mean score on the three remaining items
(M = 2.46; SD = .99).
Final prosocial intentions
Additionally, we also constructed a variable for final
prosocial intentions in order to investigate the influence of peer
discussion. This variable consisted of the prosocial
intentions that the preadolescents who did not hold a discussion
had after having watched the broadcast (post-exposure
measure), combined with the prosocial intentions that the
preadolescents who did hold a peer discussion had when
measuring follow up scores after peer discussion (M = 2.43,
SD = .95).
The data in this experiment have a nested nature (children
are nested in classes, and these classes are nested in
schools). However, because of the relatively low number of
classes (n = 14) and schools (n = 4), multilevel analysis is
not preferred to use for the analyses (c.f., Hox 2010).
Therefore, analyses of variances (ANCOVA) were
conducted to test how the news stories affected responses of
preadolescents to news, regardless of class and school. To
test hypotheses 1 and 2, a between-subjects design with
news condition (constructive vs. nonconstructive) as factor
was used. Positive emotions, negative emotions, and
prosocial intentions were separately added as dependent
variables to this model. To test the moderating influence of peer
discussions (H3 and H4), the final level of positive
emotions, final level of negative emotions, and final prosocial
intentions were used as dependent variables in a 2 (news
condition: constructive vs. nonconstructive) × 2 (peer
discussion: participation vs. no participation) between-subjects
model. In all analyses, age and sex were included as
covariates. Each hypothesis was tested at α = .05 level
(twotailed); Cohen’s d is used to indicate the effect sizes.
Effects of Constructive News Reporting on Emotions
and Prosocial Intentions
Hypothesis 1 predicted that watching constructive news
would lead to more positive and less negative emotional
Fig. 1 Mean scores of level of positive emotions and negative
emotions per news condition before and after exposure
responses among preadolescents than watching
nonconstructive news. The analyses revealed that positive
emotions decreased after exposure (i.e., negative mean
scores for the positive emotions variable), which was
expected because the newscast reported about a negative
event. However, as the main effect of news condition
showed, this decrease was indeed significantly smaller in
the constructive condition (M = −17.54; SD = 26.23)
compared to the nonconstructive condition (M = −23.10;
SD = 29.60), F(1319) = 3.916, p = .049, d = .199.
Moreover, also in line with our expectation as formulated in the
first hypothesis, the main effect of news condition for
negative emotions was significant, F(1319) = 5.617,
p = .018, d = .229. Watching the constructive newscast led
to a significantly lower increase in negative emotions
(M = 6.72; SD = 14.16) than watching the nonconstructive
newscast (M = 10.17; SD = 15.92). This implies that the
overall emotional responses of preadolescents to the news
were less negative after having watched the constructive
newscast compared to the nonconstructive newscast (see
Fig. 1). This provides support for the first hypothesis.
Hypothesis 2 predicted that after having watched the
constructive newscast, preadolescents would have more
prosocial intentions compared to preadolescents who
watched the nonconstructive newscast. However, the results did
not reveal a significant main effect of news condition on
prosocial intentions, F(1328) = 1.087, p = .298, d = .132.
Because preadolescents did not differ in their prosocial
intentions after watching constructive (M = 2.53;
SD = 1.07) vs. nonconstructive (M = 2.40; SD = .89) news,
the second hypothesis was not supported.
Effects of Peer Discussion
Hypothesis 3 predicted that discussing news with peers
would enhance the positive effects of constructive news
reporting on preadolescents’ emotional responses to news.
The analysis first revealed that there was a significant main
effect of peer discussion on final level of positive emotions,
F(1329) = 5.074, p = .025, d = .238. Preadolescents who
participated in a discussion had more positive emotions at
the end of the study (M = 68.05; SD = 29.20) than
preadolescents who did not participate in a discussion after
watching the news (M = 60.98; SD = 30.27). In addition,
there was a significant interaction between peer discussion
and news condition on positive emotions, F(1329) = 10.746,
p < .001. Post-hoc t-tests showed that preadolescents who
watched the nonconstructive broadcast and participated in a
discussion displayed more positive emotions than
preadolescents who did not participate in a peer discussion after
watching the nonconstructive newscast, t(168) = −3.602, p
< .001; d = .555 (see Fig. 2). However, preadolescents who
watched the constructive newscast and participated in a
discussion did not differ in their positive emotions compared
to preadolescents who did not participate in a discussion
afterwards, t(163) = .548, p = .584, d = .086.
With regard to the final level of negative emotions, we
did not find a main effect of peer discussion, F(1327) =
2.063, p = .152, d = .146. However, we again found a
significant interaction between peer discussion and news
condition, F(1327) = 10.712, p = .001. With post-hoc
ttests, we investigated the two news conditions separately
(see Fig. 3). By looking at the preadolescents in the
nonconstructive condition only, we found that preadolescents
who participated in a discussion indicated significantly less
negative emotions than preadolescents who did not
participate in a discussion, t(167) = 2.657, p = .009, d = .411.
We did not find a significant difference in negative
emotions between preadolescents in the constructive condition
who participated in a discussion and preadolescents who did
not, t(162) = −.809, p = .420, d = .127. In conclusion,
hypothesis 3 is not supported. Peer discussion does not
enhance the effects of constructive news on emotions.
However, peer discussion showed to be helpful for
preadolescents who were exposed to the nonconstructive
newscast, because preadolescents who discussed the news
with peers have less negative and more positive emotional
responses compared to preadolescents who did not
participate in a peer discussion after watching nonconstructive
With regard to the effect of peer discussion on prosocial
intentions (H4), a significant main effect was found, F
(1323) = 4.651, p = .032, d = .273. Preadolescents who
participated in a discussion with peers showed more
prosocial intentions (M = 2.57; SD = 1.02) than preadolescents
who did not participate in a peer discussion (M = 2.31; SD
= .88). Although the interaction between peer discussion
and news condition was not significant, F(1323) = 1.998, p
= .158, we still decided to conduct post hoc t-tests, because
our fourth hypothesis focused on the constructive news
condition in particular. These tests showed that peer
discussion did not affect the prosocial intentions of
preadolescents in the nonconstructive condition, t(164) =
−.583, p = .561, d = .091 (see Fig. 4). However, we did
find a significant difference in prosocial intentions between
preadolescents in the constructive condition who
participated in a peer discussion and preadolescents who did not, t
(161) = −3.104, p = .002, d = .489. In line with hypothesis
4, the prosocial intentions of preadolescents who held a
discussion after watching the constructive newscast were
significantly higher (M = 2.73; SD = .95) than the prosocial
intentions of preadolescents who watched the constructive
newscast but did not participate in a discussion with their
peers (M = 2.30; SD = .84). In all, as shown in Fig. 4, we
can conclude that preadolescents who saw the constructive
newscast and discussed this news with peers had the most
prosocial intentions afterwards.
It is important to inform preadolescents about what is
happening in the world through news, because this
contributes to their socialization as citizens in society (van Deth
et al. 2011). However, exposure to (negative) news stories
may lead to negative emotional responses, anxiety-related
behaviors (e.g., Buijzen et al. 2007; Riddle et al. 2012), and
may also heighten antisocial behavior in preadolescents
(c.f., Browne and Hamilton-Giachritsis 2005). Therefore,
the current study aimed to examine how to diminish these
potential adverse effects from negative television news on
preadolescents. Based on insights from positive psychology
—in particular, Pals’ (2006) idea of coherent positive
resolution and Fredrickson’s (1998, 2001)
broaden-andbuild theory—it is argued that including solution-based
information and positive emotions in negative news stories
may make stories more constructive, and therewith less
harmful and more inspiring. We experimentally investigated
whether these two elements indeed improved
preadolescents’ emotional responses to news and whether their
prosocial intentions were encouraged by exposing them to a
newscast that reports about a tsunami in either a
constructive or nonconstructive way. In addition, we examined
the role of peer discussion in this regard, because
preadolescents frequently watch the news together with peers
in classrooms (c.f., de Leeuw et al. 2015; NOS 2014), and
because peer discussion in itself may foster friendly and fair
behavior (Damon 1984; Slavin 2014) as well as prosociality
(Wentzel et al. 2009).
The findings revealed that preadolescents who watched
the constructive newscast reported less negative emotional
responses compared to preadolescents who watched the
nonconstructive newscast. Moreover, because the newscast
was about a negative event, preadolescents in both the
constructive and the nonconstructive condition reported a
decrease in positive emotions. However, this decrease was
smaller for preadolescents watching the constructive
version of the news. Additionally, preadolescents who watched
the nonconstructive newscast and participated in a
discussion with their peers displayed more positive and less
negative emotions than preadolescents in the same news
condition who did not participate in a peer discussion. This
beneficial effect of peer discussion was not found in
preadolescents who watched the constructive newscast. For the
latter group, peer discussions led to more prosocial
intentions. In all, this study indicates that constructive reporting
of news and peer discussion can function, at least to a
certain extent, as tools to make negative news less harmful
for preadolescents. Moreover, discussing constructive
content of news may increase their prosocial intentions. These
results are generally in line with results from studies on
constructive journalism among adults, which demonstrated
that constructive elements in news stories can increase
positive affect in readers and enhance prosocial intentions,
such as donating money (Gyldensted 2011; McIntyre 2015).
Moreover, the study provides support for Pals’ (2006)
notion that narrative completion of a story (in this study via
solution-based information) helps to diminish negative
emotional responses. Also, in line with the
broaden-andbuild theory (Fredrickson 1998, 2001), the positive
emotions that were included in the constructive newscast may
have played a stimulating role in improving emotional and
prosocial responses. We need to note that the effect sizes
that were found are rather small, which is quite common in
this kind of studies on media effects (c.f., Wilson and
Sherrell 1993). Although this implies that better insight into
how constructive elements, among other factors that are not
incorporated here, can be beneficial for preadolescents’
responses to news is warranted, introducing positive
psychology to news can be seen as a promising development.
With regard to the conclusions, a few nuances should be
made. First, in contrast to our expectation, preadolescents’
prosocial intentions did not differ between constructive and
nonconstructive news directly after exposure. This might be
explained by the fact that preadolescents in the constructive
condition were exposed only once to two items containing
prosocial content (item 1 and item 3) embedded within the
entire newscast. Prior research suggests that a change in
prosociality is more likely when either being exposed to
such content repeatedly or for a longer period of time
(Mares 2013; Mares and Woodard 2012). The finding that
discussing the constructive newscast, which included
prosocial content, enhanced prosocial intentions provided
preliminary support for this. By talking about it, the
prosocial content was reinforced via peers, which may explain
the further increase in prosocial intentions.
Second, contrary to the expectation, we found that peer
discussions did not improve emotional responses of
preadolescents who watched constructive news. It appeared
to be beneficial for preadolescents in the nonconstructive
condition only to discuss with peers what they saw and
experienced. The lack of change in emotions in the
constructive condition might be due to the fact that
preadolescents in the constructive condition already reported
higher levels of positive emotions directly after watching
the newscast, compared to preadolescents in the
nonconstructive condition. Since it is an important
characteristic of constructive journalism to provide the most
important information about the event (c.f., Gyldensted
2015), the constructive broadcast contained basic
information about the disaster reported in a rather negative manner.
It is, therefore, unlikely to expect that positive emotional
responses to this constructive story can become rather high.
It might be that preadolescents reached their optimal level
of positive emotions already after watching the constructive
broadcast, which makes a further increase in positive
emotions after peer discussion unlikely.
With regard to negative emotions, the content of the peer
discussion may have hindered a further decrease in negative
emotional feelings. We observed during the experiment that
preadolescents in all conditions were impressed by the
havoc that was shown in the opening of the newscast.
Consequently, this was a prominent part of the peer
discussions in both the constructive and the nonconstructive
condition. To be more specific, each group was asked to
write down the three most important ideas regarding the
newscast they just saw and discussed. A preliminary
analysis of these answers showed that in the constructive
condition, 86.55% of the answers had a negative
connotation (e.g., words as shocking, sad for Japan, and tsunami
were frequently mentioned), whereas only a few
constructive words (e.g., helping, future, fund raising) were
mentioned. For preadolescents in the constructive condition,
this implies that the positive elements that were present in
the news were less prominently (or sometimes not)
discussed. Thus, the peer discussion particularly may have
reinforced the negative emotions that preadolescents
already experienced after watching the constructive stories,
which may explain why discussing the constructive
newscast did not further improve their emotional responses to
news. We need to note here that also preadolescents in the
nonconstructive condition discussed the negative elements
of the newscast about the tsunami in Japan (90% of their
answers were negative), but as their negative emotions
increased quite substantial due to the exposure to the news
(post-exposure measure), a beneficial effect after peer
discussion (follow up measure) is easier to reach. This may
explain why a positive effect of peer discussion was found
in the nonconstructive condition. To get more insight into
this, taking a closer look at the entire content of peer
discussions may shed more light on the question why and how
peer discussions can moderate the effects of news on
preadolescents. In line with that, it may be interesting to
investigate the influence of qualitative good vs. bad
There are several limitations that should be mentioned.
First, preadolescents were only exposed to one kind of
topic, a natural disaster, within the broad spectrum of
negative news topics that frighten preadolescents (c.f.,
Riddle et al. 2012; Walma van der Molen et al. 2002). It
would be interesting to take a closer look at other topics as
well, especially to make the findings of the current study
more generalizable. It may particularly be interesting to
investigate effects of news stories that happened in the
closer surrounding of the participants. Vividness theory
predicts that vivid information—i.e., information that is
“emotionally interesting, concrete, and
imaginary-provoking, and proximate in a sensory, temporal, or spatial way”
(Nisbett and Ross 1980, p. 45)—has more influence on
viewer responses than less vivid information (Zillmann and
Brosius 2000). As the 2011 tsunami in Japan was less vivid
for the Dutch preadolescents in our study, future research
could investigate whether more vivid news would have a
stronger effect on preadolescents’ reactions. Moreover, it
would be relevant to investigate responses to other topics
than natural disasters, because there might be a difference in
the possibilities to frame negative events in a more
constructive way and in the extent to which such stories can
affect particularly prosocial intentions. For example, crime
news can inform the audience about recent incidents in
which people got injured or killed by an act of an
individual. It might be harder to present solutions in such stories,
and it may also be difficult to act in a prosocial manner as a
response to this news. This supports the necessity to
investigate whether and how constructive elements can be
included in other negative topics beyond natural disasters
and to investigate how this may inspire prosociality.
Second, studies that test how elements from positive
psychology in news stories affect (young) audiences are
scarce. In particular, this has led to limitations in
conceptualizing constructive news reporting. Because the
domain of constructive journalism is quite new, the
conceptualization of constructive news reporting is still in its
infancy. More research is needed to examine potential
underlying processes to explain why and how constructive
news reporting influences peoples’ emotional reaction to
news. Moreover, it is worth exploring whether there are
other elements from positive psychology than
solutionbased reporting and positive emotions only that are able to
reduce negative responses to news and to promote prosocial
intentions. Gaining more insight and developing a more
detailed conceptualization of constructive journalism may
support the promising effects of introducing positive
psychology to news.
Third, the influence of peer discussion has been studied
in a rather exploratory manner in the current study. Due to
the design of the study, we cannot rule out that the effects
are at least partly explained by time. To be more specific,
the preadolescents in the peer discussion condition
answered the final questions (follow up measure) about 10
min later than preadolescents who did not participate in a
discussion (post-exposure measure). It might be that the
longer time frame between exposure to the news and the
final questionnaire affected their emotions and intentions.
However, because of the differences that were found
between constructive and nonconstructive news, it is
unlikely that this time difference explains all differences
between the peer discussion and no peer discussion group.
Thus, the first results regarding peer discussion are
promising, but future research should focus on examining this
phenomenon more closely.
Fourth, the sample of classes and schools was too small
to control whether these factors may have influenced the
results. Consequently, we do not know whether class or
school factors (e.g., attention for news, classroom culture)
may have played a role here. Future research should,
therefore, include more classes from a larger number of
schools to enable multilevel analysis procedures.
Our last remark concerns the influence of constructive
journalism on memory. Although the basic information in
the constructive vs. the nonconstructive newscast was
comparable, we did not investigate whether preadolescents
actually remembered the most important information to the
same extent. As it is journalists’ primary goal to inform
citizens about events in society (c.f., McIntyre 2015), it
would be of great value to investigate memory after having
watched either constructive or nonconstructive news, in
order to test whether a constructive style of reporting still
adhere to the informative function of news.
The findings of the current study revealed that both
constructive news reporting and peer discussion could function
as tools to make news less harmful for preadolescents.
Furthermore, because constructive news is able to enhance
positive emotions and to decrease negative emotions in
preadolescents, the number of preadolescents suffering from
anxiety-related problems, such as nightmares after having
watched negative news, could be reduced. We therefore
argue that news programs aiming at preadolescents, which
are broadcast in several countries across the world (c.f.,
Alon-Tirosh and Lemish 2014), should consider using
elements from positive psychology more often. Moreover,
researchers should expand the emerging field of research on
constructive news. The study results might also contribute
to educational practice. As some beneficial effects of peer
discussion were found, schoolteachers could be advised to
facilitate peer discussion of frightening topics in the news
after their pupils have watched it. The results of the current
study could also stimulate parents to let their children watch
the news together with peers (e.g., friends or siblings of
comparable ages) and to motivate that they talk about it. In
all, by combining constructive elements in newscasts and a
following peer discussion, preadolescents’ negative
emotions may be reduced and prosocial intentions may be
increased. This may encourage the well-being of
preadolescents, people in their close environment, and
Acknowledgements The authors want to thank Prof. Dr. Moniek
Buijzen and Dr. Rebecca de Leeuw for their valuable feedback that
greatly improved the manuscript. Moreover, we want to thank the
producers of the Dutch children’s TV News program NOS
Jeugdjournaal for providing the stimulus materials and their assistance in
making them suitable for the current study.
Author Contributions M.K., L.S., and R.D. equally contributed to
this study. M.K. conceived of the study, participated in its design and
coordination, was involved in the performance of the statistical
analyses and interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript. L.S.
and R.D. conceived of the study, participated in its design, performed
the measurement, were involved in the performance of the statistical
analyses and the interpretation of the data, and helped to draft the
manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Ethical Approval All procedures performed in studies involving
human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of
the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964
Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical
standards. The ethics committee of the Faculty of Social Sciences,
Radboud University approved the study protocol, file no.
Informed Consent Active informed consent was obtained from all
participants and the head of each participating school. Passive
informed consent was obtained from the parents.
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://crea
tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give
appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a
link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were
Mariska Kleemans is an Assistant Professor at the Behavioural
Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her
research interests include the production of news for children and
adolescents and its effects, aiming to strengthen the bond between
young people and the news.
Luise F. Schlindwein is a student in the research master’s program in
Behavioural Science, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Her research interests include practical applications of creativity,
inspiration, and happiness within the field of positive psychology.
Roos Dohmen is a student in the research master’s program in
Behavioural Science, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Her research interests include practical applications to increase
wellbeing and happiness of people.
Ajzen , I. , & Fishbein , M. ( 2005 ). The influence of attitudes on behavior . In D. Albarracín, B. T. Johnson , M. P. Zanna (Eds.), The handbook of attitudes (pp. 173 - 221 ). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates .
Alon-Tirosh , M. , & Lemish , D. ( 2014 ). “ If I was making the news”: What do children want from news? The gendered nature of news consumption by children and youth . Participations , 11 ( 1 ), 108 - 129 .
Branton , A. , Akhavan , T. , Gladanac , B. , Pollard , D. , Welch , J. , Rossiter , M. , & Bellissimo , N. ( 2014 ). Pre-meal video game playing and a glucose preload suppress food intake in normal weight boys . Appetite , 83 , 256 - 262 . doi:10.1016/j.appet. 2014 .08.024.
Browne , K. D. , & Hamilton-Giachritsis , C. ( 2005 ). The influence of violent media on children and adolescents: A public-health approach . The Lancet, 365 ( 9460 ), 702 - 710 . doi:10.1016/s0140- 6736(05)70938- 7 .
Buijzen , M. , Walma van der Molen , J. H. , & Sondij , P. ( 2007 ). Parental mediation of children's emotional responses to a violent news event . Communication Research , 34 ( 2 ), 212 - 230 . doi:10. 1177/0093650206298070.
Cantor , J. , & Nathanson , A. I. ( 1996 ). Children's fright reactions to television news . Journal of Communication , 46 ( 4 ), 139 - 152 . doi:10.1111/j.1460- 2466 . 1996 .tb01510.x.
Carter , C. , Messenger Davies , M. , Allan , S. , Mendes , K. , Milani , R. , & Wass , L. ( 2009 ). What do children want from the BBC? Children's content and participatory environments in the age of citizen media . http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/knowledgeexchange/cardifftwo.pdf
Craigen , J. , & Green , N. ( 1999 ). Cooperative learning . Maastricht: KPC Educational Advisors , European Centre /Georgian College.
Damon , W. ( 1984 ). Peer education: The untapped potential . Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology , 5 , 331 - 343 . doi: 10.1016/ 0193 -3973(84)9000 6 .
Davey , H. M. , Barratt , A. L. , Butow , P. N. , & Deeks , J. J. ( 2007 ). A one-item question with a Likert or visual analog scale adequately measured current anxiety . Journal of Clinical Epidemiology , 60 ( 4 ), 356 - 360 .
Deth , J. W. , van, Abendschön , S. , & Vollmar , M. ( 2011 ). Children and politics: An empirical reassessment of early political socialization . Political Psychology , 32 ( 1 ), 147 - 174 . doi:10.1111/j.1467- 9221 . 2010 .00798.x.
Faul , F. , Erdfelder , E. , Lang , A. G. , & Buchner , A. ( 2007 ). G*Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social , behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavioral Research Methods , 39 , 175 - 191 . doi:10.3758/bf03193146.
Faul , F. , Erdfelder , E. , Buchner , A. , & Lang , A. G. ( 2009 ). Statistical power analyses using G*Power 3. 1 : Tests for correlation and regression analyses . Behavior Research Methods , 41 , 1149 - 1160 .
Förrer , M. , Kenter , B. , & Veenman , S. ( 2000 ). Coöperatief Leren in het basisonderwijs [Cooperative learning in primary education] . Amersfoort: CPS.
Fredrickson , B. L. ( 1998 ). What good are positive emotions ? Review of General Psychology , 2 ( 3 ), 300 - 319 . doi:10.1037/ 1089 - 2680 .2. 3. 300 .
Fredrickson , B. L. ( 2001 ). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions . American Psychologist , 56 ( 3 ), 218 - 226 . doi:10.1037/ 0003 -066X. 56.3. 218 .
Fredrickson , B. L. ( 2004 ). The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions . Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences , 359 ( 1449 ), 1367 - 1378 . doi:10.1098/rstb.2004.1512.
Gyldensted , C. ( 2011 ). Innovating news journalism through positive psychology. (Capstone project) . http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/ viewcontent. cgi?article=1024&context=mapp_capstone
Gyldensted , C. ( 2015 ). From mirrors to movers: Five elements of positive psychology in constructive journalism . Loveland , CO: Group Publishers.
Haagerup , U. ( 2014 ). Constructive news . Why negativity destroys the media and democracy-And how to improve journalism of tomorrow . Rapperswil: InnoVatio.
Hox , J. J. ( 2010 ). Multilevel analysis: Techniques and applications . 2nd edn. New York, NY : Routledge.
Keltner , D. , Oatley , K. , & Jenkins , J. M. ( 2014 ). Understanding emotions . Hokoken , NJ: Wiley.
Kline , P. ( 1994 ). An easy guide to factor analysis . London: Routledge.
Koltay , T. ( 2011 ). The media and the literacies: Media literacy, information literacy, digital literacy . Media, Culture & Society , 33 ( 2 ), 211 - 221 . doi:10.1177/0163443710393382.
Lara-Muñoz , C. , de Leon , S. P. , Feinstein , A. R ., Puente , A. , & Wells , C. K. ( 2004 ). Comparison of three rating scales for measuring subjective phenomena in clinical research . I. Use of experimentally controlled auditory stimuli . Archives of Medical Research , 35 ( 1 ), 43 - 48 . doi:10.1016/j.arcmed. 2003 .07.007.
de Leeuw , R. N. H. , Kleemans , M. , Rozendaal , E. , Anschütz , D. J. , & Buijzen , M. ( 2015 ). The impact of prosocial television news on children's prosocial behavior: An experimental study in the Netherlands . Journal of Children and Media , 9 ( 4 ), 419 - 434 . doi:10.1080/17482798.2015.1089297.
Li , W. H. , Mak , Y. W. , Chan , S. S., Chu , A. K. , Lee , E. Y. , & Lam , T. H. ( 2013 ). Effectiveness of a play-integrated primary one preparatory programme to enhance a smooth transition for children . Journal of Health Psychology , 18 ( 1 ), 10 - 25 . doi:10.1177/ 1359105311434052.
Mares , M. L. ( 2013 ). Prosocial TV content: Children's interpretations and responses . In E. Scharrer (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of media studies: Volume V. Media effects/media psychology (pp. 657 - 677 ). Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell.
Mares , M. L. , & Woodard , E. ( 2012 ). Effects of prosocial media content on children's social interactions . In D. G. Singer , J. L. Singer (Eds.), Handbook of children and the media . 2nd edn. (pp. 197 - 214 ). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
McIntyre , K. E. ( 2015 ). Constructive journalism: The effects of positive emotions and solution information in news stories (Doctoral dissertation) . Chapel Hill , NC : The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Nisbett , R. , & Ross , L. ( 1980 ). Human inference: Strategies and shortcomings of social judgement . Englewood Cliffs , NJ: Prentice-Hall .
NOS ( 2014 ). NOS Jaarverslag 2014 : Kijk-, luister- en internetcijfers . [ Annual Report of The Dutch Broadcasting Corporation 2014 ]. http://nos.nl/ jaarverslag/nos-cijfers/22-kijk-luister-en-internetcijfers/
Pals , J. ( 2006 ). Narrative identity processing of difficult life experiences: Pathways of personality development and positive selftransformation in adulthood . Journal of Personality , 74 , 1079 - 1109 . doi:10.1111/j.1467- 6494 . 2006 .00403.x.
Riddle , K. , Cantor , J. , Byrne , S. , & Moyer-Gusé , E. ( 2012 ). “ People killing people on the news”: Young children's descriptions of frightening television news content . Communication Quarterly , 60 ( 2 ), 278 - 294 . doi:10.1080/01463373.2012.669340.
Seligman , M. E. P. , & Csikszentmihalyi , M. ( 2000 ). Positive psychology-An introduction . American Psychologist , 55 , 5 - 14 . doi:10.1037//0003-066x.55.1. 5 .
Slavin , R. E. ( 2014 ). Cooperative learning in elementary schools . Education 3-13 , 43 ( 1 ), 5 - 14 . doi:10.1080/03004279.2015. 963370.
Tuominen , S. & Kotilainen , S. ( 2012 ). Pedagogies of media and information literacies . http://iite.unesco.org/pics/publications/en/ files/3214705.pdf/
Walma van der Molen , J. H. , Valkenburg , P. M. , & Peeters , A. L. ( 2002 ). Television news and fear: A child survey . Communications , 27 ( 3 ), 303 - 317 . doi:10.1515/comm.27.3. 303 .
Walma van der Molen , J. H. , & de Vries, M. ( 2003 ). Violence and consolation: September 11th 2001 covered by the Dutch children's news . Journal of Educational Media , 28 , 5 - 17 . doi:10. 1080/1358165032000156400.
Wentzel , K. R ., Baker , S. A. , & Russell , S. ( 2009 ). Peer relationships and positive adjustment at schools . In R. Gillman, S. Huebner , M. Furlong (Eds.), Promoting wellness in children and youth: A handbook of positive psychology in the schools (pp. 229 - 244 ). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Wilkinson , I. A. G. ( 2009 ). Discussion methods . In E. M. Anderman, L. H. Anderman (Eds.), Psychology of classroom learning: An encyclopedia (pp. 330 - 336 ). Detroit, MI: Gale/Cengage.
Wilson , E. J. , & Sherrell , D. L. ( 1993 ). Source effects in communication and persuasion research: A meta-analysis of effect size . Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science , 21 ( 2 ), 101. doi:10. 1007/BF02894421.
Zillmann , D. , & Brosius , H. B. ( 2000 ). Exemplification in communication: The influence of case reports on the perception of issues . Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.