Objective of the Pre-Conference The goal of this pre-conference is to facilitate a high level, comprehensive discussion among scholars in media and child health concerning the state of the knowledge in the area and to define the research agenda (vision, goals, focus and collaborations) going forward.
Background The potential implications that media have on children’s and adolescents’ health have attracted growing research attention in a variety of disciplines. For this research area to fully mature, it must act with an interdisciplinary focus and bring together voices from the numerous disciplines involved in the scholarly discourse, including but not limited to developmental psychology, communication, public health, medicine, cultural studies, feminist studies, and sociology of childhood. Recent advances in this realm have been marked by efforts by the Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) to compile and translate the scientific evidence, the foundation of the Journal of Children and Media, as well as the establishment of the Children, Adolescent and Media (CAM) interest group of ICA. Growing interest in creating a shared arena for scholarship and the shortage of research funding present an unusual challenge at this time, and provide an opportunity for revitalizing our field and re-defining its goals, focus and vision.
Who Should Attend Researchers, clinicians, educators, producers and parents who are interested in understanding the effects of media on the development and physical, mental, and social health of children and in setting the agenda for future research, education and programs.
Format The preconference will consist of 4 sessions, two in the morning, followed by lunch with informal networking and discussion among participants, and two in the afternoon. Sessions will focus on over-arching topics and will be designed to engage all participants in a seminar-like discussion. Each will begin with a 5-minute introduction by the moderator and a series of 5 minute invited overviews by scholars and thought leadersfrom around the world, followed by a group-wide discussion of the topic. Speakers include Sandra Calvert, Maya Götz, Amy Jordan, David Kleeman, Dafna Lemish, Michael Rich, David Bickham, Victor Strasburger, Patti Valkenburg, and Ellen Wartella, among others. The sessions are:
1. Examining what we know: the current state of the science, covering media platforms from TV to smartphones, health/developmental outcomes of concern from obesity to attention deficit to violence, and developmental stages from infancy to adolescence
2. Investigating an evolving landscape: multidisciplinary perspectives and methodological approaches diverse theoretical frameworks and techniques for assessing how young people use and are influenced by media
3. Translating knowledge into change: application of research findings to new strategies for parents, educators, producers and policymakers
4. Setting the agenda: a plan for the future of the field Integrative brainstorming and discussion directions for research, programs and policies