Drew Cingel

Position Title
Associate Professor of Communication


Prospective Students: Please email Dr. Cingel to set up a meeting time.

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, joining the faculty after receiving my PhD from Northwestern University in 2016. During my time as an undergraduate at Penn State University, I was never sure what I wanted to do with my degree, until I joined a research lab and developed an interest in how children use media.

Over the past ten years, my interest has grown to examine the interaction between human development and media effects, particularly how facets of child and adolescent development influence media choice and the effects of exposure to media. I am specifically interested in how media can be used to promote inclusion of others among preschoolers, and psychosocial well-being among adolescents. I primarily use experimental and survey methodologies, and conduct research in my lab, a naturalistic, living room setting equipped with traditional and new media technologies. Although my academic training is in communication and media, my membership in the Human Development Graduate Group allows me to interact with an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students, which greatly benefits my research and teaching.

My research has been published in journals such as Communication Research, New Media & SocietyMedia PsychologyJournal of Media PsychologyComputers in Human Behavior, and the Journal of Children and MediaIn addition, I have received funding from private foundations, as well as public media companies.


  • Children’s learning from different versions of the LingoKids app. (2023). Funded by LingoKids, Barcelona, Spain. PI: Drew P. Cingel. $25,200.00

Select Publications

  • Cingel, D. P., Snyder, A. L., & Vigil, S. L. (2023). Minding children’s media morals: Parents’ moral foundation salience differentially relates to attitudes and motivations toward children’s educational media. Mass Communication and Society. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2023.2226645
  • Alexopoulos, C., & Cingel, D. P. (2023). Sexual consent on television: Differing portrayal effects on adolescent viewers. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-023-02563-0
  • Yu, M., Carter, M. C., Cingel, D. P., & Ruiz, J. B. (2023). How sex is referenced in Netflix original, adolescent-directed series: A content analysis of subtitles. Psychology of Popular Media. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000457
  • Cingel, D. P., Krcmar, M., Marple, C., & Snyder, A. L.** (2023). The development and validation of a measure of moral intuition salience for children and adolescents: The Moral Intuitions and Development Scale (MIDS). Journal of Communication, 73(2), 179-191. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqac049 
  • Carter, M. C., Cingel, D. P., Wartella, E., & Ruiz, J. B. (2023). Social media use in the context of the Personal Social Media Ecosystem Framework. Journal of Communication, 73(1), 25-37. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqac038 
  • Cingel, D. P., Sumter, S. R., Stoetten, E., & Mann, S. (2020). Can television help to decrease stigmatization among young children? The role of Theory of Mind and general and explicit inserts. Media Psychology. Article published ahead of print (April 22, 2019). doi: 10.1080/15213269.2019.1601570
  • Cingel, D. P., & Krcmar, M. (2019). Prosocial television, preschool children’s moral judgements, and moral reasoning: The role of social moral intuitions and perspective-taking. Communication Research, 46(3), 355-374. doi: 10.1177/0093650217733846
  • Cingel, D. P., Lauricella, A. R., Lam, W. S. E., Wartella, E., & Morales, P. Z. (2019). Online communication patterns of Chinese and Mexican adolescents living in the United States. International Journal of Communication, 13, 116-135.
  • Krcmar, M., & Cingel, D. P. (2019). Do young children really learn best from the use of  direct address in children’s television? Media Psychology, 22(1), 152-171. doi: 10.1080/15213269.2017.1361841
  • Cingel, D. P., Sumter, S. R., & van de Leur, J. (2019). The role of social context during television viewing on children’s moral judgements about the social inclusion and stigmatization of others. Media Psychology, 22(1), 133-151. doi: 10.1080/15213269.2017.1378111
  • Krcmar, M., & Cingel, D. P. (forthcoming). Moral Foundations Theory and moral reasoning in video game play: Using real-life morality in a game context. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2015.1127246
  • Cingel, D. P., Krcmar, M., & Olsen, M. K. (2015). Exploring predictors and consequences of Personal Fable ideation on Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 28-35. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.01.017
  • Cingel, D. P., & Krcmar, M. (2014). Understanding the experience of Imaginary Audience in a social media environment: Implications for adolescent development. Journal of Media Psychology, 26(4), 155-160. doi: 10.1027/1864-1105/a000124
  • Krcmar, M., & Cingel, D. P. (2014). Parent-child joint reading in traditional and electronic formats. Media Psychology, 17(3), 262-281. doi: 10.1080/15213269.2013.840243
  • Cingel, D. P., & Sundar, S. S. (2012). Texting, techspeak, and tweens: The relationship between text messaging and English grammar skills. New Media & Society, 14(8), 1304-1320. doi: 10.1177/1461444812442927


  • National Communication Association, Doctoral Honors Seminar Invitee (2015)
  • Searle Teaching Program, Excellence in Teaching Certificate Recipient (2014-2015)
  • Northwestern University, Graduate Teaching Assistantship (2013-2015)
  • Northwestern University, Graduate Fellowship recipient (2012-2013; 2015-2016)
  • Northwestern University, Summer Research Support recipient (2012)