"The distinction between correlation and causation is not a mere technicality to acknowledge before moving on to a pre-ordained conclusion; it is fundamental to a correct interpretation of the work." Read Vicky Rideout's response to Jean Twenge's provocative Atlantic article on the London School of Economics' Parenting for a Digital Future blog.

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences summarizes workshops on how to change social norms and promote behavior change on behavioral health issues such as depression and other mental health issues.  Vicky Rideout shared her experience working with Hollywood writers and producers to integrate health-related content into enterainment television shows.  Report available free here.

 

A survey with University of Texas Professor Craig Watkins about Millennials' use of social media for social and political engagement;

A benchmark study on youth, tech, and health for HopeLab;

An evaluation of a pro-social media campaign for the Clinton Foundation's Too Small to Fail;

The second wave of Social Media, Social Life - a survey of teen social media use for Common Sense Media;

And more - stay tuned!  

 


Given the variety of activities children can undertake on their phones and tablets, does it even make sense to talk about "screen time" any more?  And in this transmedia world, how can we effectively measure children's media usage - or should we even bother to try? 

Read Vicky Rideout's commentary in the Journal of Children and Media on why it does make sense to continue doing our best to measure the time children and teens spend with various types of media, using quantitative, nationally representative, probabilistic samples - despite the many challenges of doing so.  The article includes lots of key data from the recent Common Sense Census: Media Use By Tweens and Teens, now available in an academic journal. 

 

danah boyd puts the 'spotlight' on Vicky Rideout in the International Communications Association's newsletter for the Division on Children, Adolescents & Media 

read the interview >

Watch Politico's behind-the-scenes video about Barack Obama's 2004 Democratic Convention speech, including an interview with Vicky Rideout, director of speech writing for the Convention. 

 Teens, Health, and Technology: A National Survey
June 2015, for Northwestern University
If there is one thing that defines the current generation of teenagers, it is the degree to which they are always “connected”—spending vast amounts of time using social media, surfing the web, watching YouTube videos, Tweeting, and using apps.

The teenage years are also a time when young people grapple with a multitude of health concerns, ranging from puberty to obesity to drug and alcohol use.  Yet this is the first study we are aware of in nearly 15 years to survey a large, nationally-representative sample of teens to document how they use the Internet for health information. And it is the only national survey we know of to document teens’ use of newer technologies for health, such as mobile apps, social networking sites, and wearable devices. Read the Study >

In the News

Study: Nearly third of teens changed health habits based on online search 
Washington Post - ‎June 7, 2015. "...a lot of teens are grappling with very real, very important health challenges and...the Internet is empowering them with the information they need to take better care of themselves,” said Vicky Rideout, a co-author of the study.   Read the Article >

Teenagers Seek Health Information Online, but Don't Always Trust It 
New York Times - ‎June 7, 2015. "One in three teenagers said they changed their behavior because of what they had learned from online sites or apps..." "[The study] shows that teenagers can be independent and empowered actors in taking care of their own health,” said Vicky Rideout, a media and health researcher who designed the survey. Read the Article >