Exposure to Aggression Between Parents Can Interfere with a Child’s Ability to Regulate Emotions, Finds NYU Steinhardt Study

Exposure to verbal and physical aggression between parents may hurt a child’s ability to identify and control emotions, according to a longitudinal study led by the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

The findings, which appear in the journal Development and Psychopathology, also suggest that household chaos and prolonged periods of poverty during early childhood may take a substantial toll on the emotional adjustment of young children.

“Our study points to ways in which aggression between parents may powerfully shape children’s emotional adjustment,” says C. Cybele Raver, professor of applied psychology and the study’s lead author.

“Arguing and fighting is psychologically stressful for the adults caught in conflict; this study demonstrates the costs of that conflict for children in the household as well.”

Research has demonstrated that exposure to conflict and violence in the home can shape children’s neurobiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses. Increased hypervigilance may support children’s safety in the short term, but can be detrimental for their long-term emotional adjustment. For instance, children who hear or witness their parents fighting may have trouble regulating their emotions in less risky situations, such as a classroom.

While earlier research established a link between parental conflict at a single point in time and children’s adjustment later in life, Raver and her colleagues saw a need to explore how children may be adversely affected by prolonged exposure to this aggression.

“We also were interested in other forms of adversity in the children’s environment, including poverty and household chaos, that could affect their emotional adjustment, since few studies have considered multiple factors,” says study author Clancy Blair, professor of applied psychology.

In the study, the researchers measured children’s exposure to several forms of adversity, and how they predicted their ability to recognize and regulate negative emotions, such as fear and sadness. The researchers followed 1,025 children and their families living in eastern North Carolina and central Pennsylvania, two geographical areas with high poverty rates.

The researchers evaluated the families in a series of home visits from the time a child was two months old through 58 months of age. They gathered data through parent questionnaires, administering tasks to the parents and children, and measuring the level of household chaos – including the number of times children moved, changes in caregiver, noise levels, cleanliness, and the number of people compared to the number of rooms – versus stability. At approximately 58 months of age, the researchers assessed the children’s ability to correctly recognize and identify emotions.

Verbal and physical aggression between parents from infancy through early childhood significantly predicted children’s ability to accurately identify emotions at 58 months of age. Higher exposure to physical aggression between parents was associated with children’s lower performance on a simple emotions labeling task. Surprisingly, higher exposure to verbal aggression was associated with greater emotion knowledge among the children.

Prolonged exposure to aggression between parents was also linked to children’s ability to regulate their own feelings of sadness, withdrawal, and fear, placing them at greater risk for symptoms of anxiety and depression later on.

Other forms of adversity also contributed to children’s emotional adjustment. The higher the number of years spent in poverty, the lower a child’s ability to accurately identify different emotions. Increased household chaos, especially disorganization, also lowered a child’s ability to recognize emotions.

“This study shines a bright light on the importance of supporting parents as they navigate the ups and downs of partnership or marriage,” says Raver. “Parents need help regulating their own feelings of anger, frustration, and worry when balancing the demands of work, family, and romantic partnership, especially when money is tight.”

In addition to Raver and Blair, study authors include Patricia Garrett-Peters of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Family Life Project Key Investigators. The research was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD51502; P01 HD39667) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

(Photo:  Exposure to verbal and physical aggression between parents may hurt a child’s ability to identify and control emotions, according to a longitudinal study undertaken by researchers at NYU’s Steinhardt School.)

NYU Steinhardt Presents ‘Man of La Mancha,’ Sept 19 – 21

The NYU Steinhardt Program in Vocal Performance will present the musical theater classic, “Man of La Mancha” from September 19-21, 2014. Written by Dale Wasserman, the show features music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. William Wesbrooks and MK Lawson will direct the production.

Winner of the 1965 Tony Award for Best Musical, “Man of La Mancha” has enjoyed four Broadway revivals and become one of musical theatre’s most beloved works. Inspired by Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century masterpiece “Don Quixote,” the musical tells a story rich in chivalry, romance, idealism, tilting at windmills, and dreaming “The Impossible Dream.” Facing a mock trial by his fellow prisoners as he awaits his actual trial before the Spanish Inquisition, Cervantes stages as his defense the adventures of the knight-errant Don Quixote and his loyal sidekick, Sancho Panza.

Steinhardt’s production of “Man of La Mancha” runs September 19 at 8 p.m., September 20 at 8 p.m., and September 21 at 3 p.m. at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, located at 566 LaGuardia Place.

Tickets are $30 general admission, with student, alumni, and senior discounts available. For tickets, contact the box office online, via phone at 888-611-8183, or in person at 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South).

“Man of La Mancha” features music direction by Michael Ricciardone, scenic design by Josh Smith, lighting design by Jimmy Lawlor, costume design by Karen Kingsley, and sound design by Benjamin Furiga. The production stage manager is Alaina Sciascia.

The cast features NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions students Raphael Anastasiadis, Ben Bartels, Drew Carr, Caitlin Caruso, Joe Conceison, Dan Corica, Emily Crowley, Emma Davis, Kareem Elsamadicy, John Fitzpatrick, Daniel Grego, Josh Greenblatt, Alex Guhde, Michael Hajjar, Hayley Jackowitz, Alyssa LeClair, Alex McDaniel, Brandon Nase, Ian Pruneda, Javi Romero, Ben Sheppard, Kaitlyn Swygard, and Andrew Tallian.

 

Foundations Commit $1.9 Million to Support Research Alliance for New York City Schools

A new consortium of New York City-based funders—including Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ford Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the William T. Grant Foundation—has joined forces to invest in the Research Alliance for New York City Schools at New York University. The Chicago-based Spencer Foundation also announced a substantial new grant to the organization.  Together, the five foundations have pledged $1.9 million to support the Research Alliance’s core operations over the next three years.

“These resources are critical for helping us build stronger connections with educators, policymakers, and community groups,” said James J. Kemple, the Research Alliance’s executive director. “Our aim is to produce ‘better evidence for better schools’ by engaging a range of education stakeholders, and conducting research that is not only rigorous, but also relevant to  the problems that educators face in schools and classrooms.”

Wallace Foundation President Will Miller, who played a central role in organizing the fund-raising consortium, said: “The Wallace Foundation is pleased to join with other foundations in supporting the Alliance. It brings credible, independent evidence that’s shared publicly to bear on decisions made by the nation’s largest school system, with the ultimate goal of strengthening student success.”

Since its founding in 2008 at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, the Research Alliance has undertaken more than 20 major research projects, with a variety of partners, and has shared its findings through numerous conferences, presentations, and published reports.

Research Alliance work has shed light on important areas of progress for the NYC school system, as well as persistent and troubling gaps between different groups of students. The organization has advanced educational measures that move beyond test scores, produced tools to help keep students on track for success, and illuminated strategies to improve struggling schools.

The new funding will support work that is central to the Research Alliance’s mission, but not typically covered by grants for specific research projects. This includes:

  • Fast-response data analyses that answer important policy questions or lay the groundwork for future initiatives;
  • Efforts to increase the visibility of the Research Alliance’s work, via conferences and briefings, new publication formats, the Web, media, etc.;
  • Relationship-building, especially with individual schools and school networks; and
  • The development of new areas of research and related partnerships (e.g., the Research Alliance is currently developing projects on universal pre-K, students’ transitions to college and work, and educational inequality).

“The Research Alliance is well-positioned to continue providing evidence on what works in education,” said Dominic Brewer, the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of NYU Steinhardt. “We are grateful for the foundations’ support, which enables the Research Alliance to function in this critical role.”

Kemple noted that leadership from both the University and Steinhardt have proved crucial to developing the new pool of resources.

“NYU’s commitment and support enrich our work in so many ways—and have been essential to convincing funders that we are a worthwhile investment,” Kemple said.

The Research Alliance is one of a growing number of research-practice partnerships being developed in cities around the country. According to Michael McPherson, president of the Spencer Foundation: “The Research Alliance is one of the leaders in a growing movement to forge mutually supportive relationships between research universities and school districts that build research knowledge to help schools achieve their goals. As a foundation committed to improving education through building new knowledge, we at Spencer are pleased to support the Alliance’s important work.”

About the Research Alliance

The Research Alliance for New York City Schools conducts studies on topics that matter to the city’s public schools. It strives to advance equity and excellence in education by providing nonpartisan evidence about policies and practices that promote students’ development and academic success. For more information, please visit www.ranycs.org.

 

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (@nyusteinhardt)

Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media, and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School’s mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.

 

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In Special issue of ‘Behavioral Medicine,’ Halkitis Draws Attention to Smoking, Biopsychosocial Issues in HIV, and Aging

Thanks to improved treatments, people with HIV are living longer; soon more than half of all HIV cases in the United States will be in those 50 years of age and older. Research on long-term outcomes and aging with HIV is dramatically growing to better understand the challenges faced by older adults with HIV.

Perry N. Halkitis, a professor of applied psychology, public health and medicine and associate dean of academic affairs at NYU’s Global Institute of Public Health, serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Behavioral Medicine. A special issue of the journal – “Biopsychosocial Challenges of Older Adults Living with HIV” – was published in August 2014.

The special issue begins with an article authored by Halkitis and Timothy G. Heckman of the University of Georgia College of Public Health. They write that the demands of aging create stress in all lives, but these conditions are heightened among individuals living with HIV. Prior studies “underscore the complexities of living and aging with HIV and…point to the fact that HIV/AIDS is a disease, best understood and most effectively treated, using approaches informed by a biopsychosocial lens as opposed to a purely biomedical one.”

One of the six research articles in the special issue focuses on smoking and health issues among older HIV-positive men. The study was led by Danielle C. Ompad, a research associate professor of public health at NYU Steinhardt, and was coauthored by Halkitis and other members of NYU’s Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, & Prevention Studies.

The researchers studied nearly 200 HIV-positive gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men 50 years of age and older. Overall, 35.7% currently smoked, 35.7% formerly smoked, and 28.6% never smoked.

The study demonstrates a high prevalence of cigarette smoking among the men studied, and provides evidence for a relationship between smoking and HIV-related health issues, including opportunistic infections. The researchers stress that smoking cessation programs within the context of HIV care are warranted to help older men with HIV quit.

By Rachel Harrison

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Caption: An NYU study shows a high prevalence of cigarette smoking among older men with HIV, and provides evidence for a relationship between smoking and HIV-related health issues. © iStock/Arne Trautmann

 

 

Inside Books: Richard Arum Explores The Tentative Transitions of College Graduates

Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates

By Richard Arum and Josipa Roska
(University of Chicago Press, 2014)

In their 2011 book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, Richard Arum and Josipa Roska documented the failure of universities to effectively educate undergraduates. Arum, a professor of sociology and education, and his collaborator used a state-of-the-art tool – the College Learning Assessment – to measure the higher order thinking skills of undergraduates, which rendered dismal results.

The authors’ new book, Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates, follows the same undergraduates through the remainder of their college years and into the working world. Built on interviews and detailed surveys of nearly one thousand recent college graduates from a range of four-year colleges and universities, Aspiring Adults Adrift reveals a generation facing a difficult transition into adulthood.

While some “aspiring” adults succeeded in landing jobs in their fields or pursued graduate degrees, many moved back home with their parents and struggled to find employment.  Despite these challenges, the 20-somethings remained hopeful about their prospects, and felt that their lives would ultimately be better than those of their parents.

“The students in our study… graduated into a particularly difficult and unforgiving economic climate, where often they had little more than their own optimism and a diploma to sustain them in a quest to realize their expectations,” Arum and Roska write.

They also suggest approaches to improve and measure learning outcomes in higher education.

Aspiring Adults Adrift again illustrates the challenges facing colleges – which the authors argue spend inadequate attention on academic rigor and critical thinking – to better educate undergraduates and prepare them for the real world.

-Rachel Harrison

 

 

Where’s the Noise Coming From? How Joscha Legewie Used Big Data to Learn More About the Everyday Tensions Faced by New Yorkers

What can big data teach us?  Assistant Professor Joscha Legewie discusses how he used statistical analysis to find out the times and neighborhoods where New Yorkers complained the most.

Assistant Professor Joscha Legewie is a sociologist whose research explores questions related to education, social inequality, and ethnic relations. Recently, to better understand the conditions under which conflict among New Yorkers emerges, Legewie studied data from 7.7 million time and geo-coded 311 service requests to determine the times and neighborhoods where people complain about their neighbors.
You use what you call ‘quasi-experimental research designs’ to understand sociological behavior.  Can you explain that method to us?

Quasi-experimental research designs try to imitate traditional experimental designs or randomized control trials usually when experimental data is not available. There are many situations in which it is invisible to conduct an experiments. Some of my work, for example, focuses on the effect of extreme violence against police officers on the subsequent police treatment of residents and particularly minority groups in pedestrian stops.

Designing an experiment to address this question is hard and faces clear ethical challenges. As an alternative, I use an quasi-experimental design or a natural experiment. This design compares police stops right after with similar stops right before certain events such as the shooting of a police officer. This design relies on the exogenous nature of many events and allows me to examine whether the pattern of stops changed after incidents of extreme violence against police officers and whether there is a race specific pattern to this response. Another advantage is that quasi or natural experiments often use data from real-world settings.

Your current research looks at New Yorker’s complaints.  How do you go about figuring out who complains the most and in what neighborhoods the complaints are files?

My work relies on data from 7.7 million time and geo-coded 311 service requests to examine when and where New Yorkers complain about their neighbors making noise, blocking the driveway, or drinking in public. The study tries to understand the conditions under which conflict between neighbors emerges. 311 is a centralized non-emergency telephone number, Internet platform, and smart phone application that allows city residents to file a request for or complain about issues as diverse as birth certificate services, fallen tree removal, or broken heating.

These service requests provide a unique opportunity to get fine-grained information about everyday life tensions between neighbors. It is an interesting example of how social scientist can use “big data” to address new questions or work with information on an entirely new scale. But these new data sources also have limitations and raise privacy concerns. They are generally not designed for social science research and lack important information. The 311 data, for example, does not include information on the identity of the caller so that my work can only study patterns across neighborhoods and over time.

So, tell us, who complains the most?

New Yorkers filed 42,896 noise complaints about neighbors in 2011, about 117 per day. Manhattan is clearly ahead of the other boroughs with 16,082 noise complaints in 2011 (37%) followed by Brooklyn with 12,162 complaints (28%). The difference is even more pronounced when you consider that Manhattan is substantially smaller: In Manhatten there are 10 complaints per 1,000 residents compared to 4.8 in Brooklyn.

The map gives a more detailed view showing the number of complaints per 1,000 residents across census tracts in NYC. Some areas around Midtown Manhattan stick out with a very high rate of complaints.  But it’s also interesting to see that the rate is higher in some of the gentrified parts of Brooklyn such as Williamsburg.

Some of these patterns reflect relations to neighborhood characteristics that have played an important role in research on urban communities. We find, for example, less complaints in neighborhoods with concentrated disadvantage—i.e. a higher poverty and unemployment rate, lower educational attainment, and more households that receive public assistance.

This pattern might reflect that citizens in disadvantaged communities are less likely to contact a city agency. But residential mobility also plays an important role. We observe more complaints in neighborhoods with fewer homeowners and many residents who recently moved into the neighborhood.

Presumably, this residential instability undermines friendly relations between neighbors so that residents are more likely to call 311 instead of knocking on someones door.

***  Note on references: The two working papers “Racial Profiling in Stop-and-Frisk Operations: How Local Events Trigger Periods of Increased Discrimination” and “Contested Boundaries: Explaining Where Ethno-Racial Diversity Provokes Neighborhood Conflict” (together with Merlin Schaeffer) are available from Joscha Legewie (joscha.legewie@nyu.edu).

Felix Cavaliere and John Sebastion at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions on September 9th

John Sebastian

Felix Cavaliere and John Sebastian will be the featured guests at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions at NYU on September 9th.

Cavaliere and Sebastian will discuss their five-decade careers as musicians, songwriters, and performers with Phil Galdston, NYU faculty songwriter-in-residence and master teacher in songwriting.

“Felix Cavaliere and John Sebastian have both written songs that span generations and genres,” said Ron Sadoff, chair of the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions and director of its songwriting program. “Their extraordinarily rich and living bodies of work are indelibly embedded in our culture.”

Felix Cavaliere, with his frequent collaborator, Eddie Brigati, created a remarkable catalog of chart-topping hit singles and albums for their band, The Rascals. Following successful covers of “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” and “Good Lovin’,” Cavaliere co-wrote all of the band’s best-known songs, including “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long,” “Groovin’,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “A Girl Like You,” “A Beautiful Morning,” and “People Got to Be Free.”  In addition to their phenomenal record sales, The Rascals are considered the best ‘blue-eyed soul’ group to come out of the 1960s. Felix is a highly-regarded solo artist and performs in reunion tours with all four original Rascals.

Felix Cavaliere

John Sebastian founded The Lovin’ Spoonful with his musical partner, Zal Yanovsky. Although the band’s repertoire was initially focused on updated versions of blues, folk, and jugband tunes, Sebastian soon proved to be a composer/lyricist of remarkable range and ingenuity. What followed was an amazing string of songs, including “Do You Believe In Magic?” “Younger Girl,” “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?,” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice,” “Daydream,” “Summer In The City,” and “Younger Generation.” During this run, the Spoonfuls placed their first seven singles in the Top 10 and their first nine in the Top 20. Sebastian’s solo career has spawned such notable successes as “She’s A Lady,” “Rainbow All Over Your Blues,” “Welcome Back,” and appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festival. He continues to write, record, and perform, with a distinct focus on jugband music.

“We are fortunate at the Songwriters Hall of Fame to have a lot of depth in terms of songwriting talent,” said SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb. “Not only do Felix and John stand tall in a land of giants, they’re outstanding instrumentalists and profoundly impactful vocalists, as well. And their range of experience will make this a notable event.”

Launched in 2011, the Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions were established to bring to the NYU community the great songwriters who have inspired music creators and music lovers, alike. An in-depth interview (including a Q&A with students) leavened with performance and demonstration, the Sessions are curated and moderated by GRAMMY-nominated songwriter and producer Phil Galdston. Previous sessions have featured Jimmy Webb, Glenn Frey, Nile Rodgers, Valerie Simpson, and the late Hal David.

“We’re very fortunate to have Felix and John join us for a once-in-a-lifetime joint Master Session,” said Galdston. “Our students will have an extraordinary opportunity to benefit from the insight into the art and craft of music-making and the reality of a career in the business of two people who have been recognized by the Songwriters, Rock’n’Roll, and GRAMMY Halls of Fame. In addition, they represent R&B and folk, two of the most important strands of New York-based music that were woven into the rock and pop that swept the world.”

The Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions at NYU are held at The Provincetown Playhouse, 133 MacDougal Street, between West 3rd and West 4th streets. For more information about the Songwriting Program at NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/songwriting.

About The Songwriters Hall of Fame:

The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases, and scholarships. West Coast educational activities are held at The GRAMMY Museum, which hosts the permanent Songwriters Hall of Fame Gallery, and at the University of Southern California. Visit the Hall at http://songhall.org/ for more information.

 

Rodney Benson of Department of Media, Culture, and Communication Wins Tankard Book Award

Rodney Benson has been awarded the 2014 Tankard Book Award by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) at its annual meeting in Montréal.

Benson is an associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication and an affiliated faculty member of NYU;s Department of Sociology. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Benson’s book, Shaping Immigration News: A French-American Comparison, received the Tankard Award to honor scholarship that, according to AEJMC, “breaks new ground in the field of journalism and mass communication” research.

The book, published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press, compares immigration news coverage in the U.S. and France from the early 1970s through the 2000s, drawing on detailed text and image analysis and nearly 100 interviews with journalists in Paris, Los Angeles, and New York. Benson uses the comparative case study to draw broader conclusions about journalistic practices and performance in the two countries. According to Cambridge University Press’s description of the book, Benson “challenges classic liberalism’s assumptions about state intervention’s chilling effects on the press, suggests costs as well as benefits to the current vogue in personalized narrative news, and calls attention to journalistic practices that can help empower civil society.”

Shaping Immigration News has already received praise from a range of leading sociologists and media scholars.

Silvio Waisbord of George Washington University writes: “Benson has amassed powerful evidence showing why globalization does not make journalism homogeneous across borders…This book should be of interest to scholars interested in understanding the possibility for multiperspectival and critical journalism in democratic societies, as well as continuities and changes in fluid news systems. Benson has produced a sophisticated, elegant, and evidence-packed cross-national analysis that will be a go-to reference for comparative media research.”

Paul DiMaggio of Princeton University writes: “Comparing the experiences of France and the United States for explanatory leverage, the author of this fine book identifies and tracks the prevalence of alternative frames and authorized spokespersons in immigration news over four decades – and in so doing demonstrates how institutional differences in the journalistic field refract coverage of events and debates in striking and often unanticipated ways.”

AEJMC, the national association of journalism and mass communication scholars and media professionals, established the Tankard Book Award in 2007 in honor of communication scholar James W. Tankard, Jr.

 

Sex Differences in Swallowing Function Attributed to Height, Finds Steinhardt Study

Variations in swallowing can be traced back to a person’s height, according to a study by Sonja Molfenter, an assistant professor at NYU Steinhardt.  Molfenter’s findings, reported in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, explain previously reported differences in swallowing function between women and men.

Swallowing function is commonly disrupted by conditions including stroke, brain injury, head and neck cancer, and spinal cord injury. The gold-standard assessment of swallowing function involves a radiographic imaging technique called videofluoroscopy, which allows real-time visualization of swallowing function. The extent of movement of various structures and tissues involved in swallowing can be measured using this technique.

Previous research had demonstrated distinct sex differences in swallowing function; men have displayed greater extent of movement than women. Thus, data and treatment targets have differed between the two sexes.

Molfenter of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, studied the swallowing of 20 healthy adults (10 females and 10 males). The participants were stratified by height, and performed several tasks that were measured using videofluoroscopy.

The results showed variations in swallowing function among participants that could be explained by the height of the individual, likely explaining why sex differences have been observed in the past. The study also investigates methods for normalizing height in videofluoroscopic imaging and proposes ways to control for these differences in a clinical setting.

Photo:   © iStock/Remains

 

Books From Our Faculty: Helen Nissenbaum on the Value of Play in Digital Games

Does Angry Birds have a code of ethics? Does it have values?

Yes, says Helen Nissenbaum, a professor of Media, Culture, and Communication and Computer Science, and co-author Mary Flanagan.

Their new book, Values at Play in Digital Games (The MIT Press, 2014), presents a framework for identifying moral and political values in digital games. It also serves as a guide to designers who seek to implement values in the concept and design of their games.

The authors believe that games express and embody human values, providing a compelling arena in which we play out our beliefs and ideas.

They base their theory on three premises: that societies have common values, that technologies such as digital games embody ethical and political values, and that those who design digital games have the power to shape players’ engagement with these values.

The authors use the term “conscientious designer” to describe someone who commits to considering values when designing games. Texts by “conscientious designers” who have put Values at Play into practice are woven into the book, offering a real-world perspective on the design challenges involved.

In the case of Angry Birds, Nissenbaum and Flanagan highlight action, interspecies differences, and destruction as values found in the game.

The authors last word is a question:  “What if the game were modified to support the value of creativity instead of destruction?”

-Rachel Harrison