National Academies Committee on the Science of Changing Behavioral Health Social Norms

In October 2014 Vicky Rideout was appointed to a standing committee of the National Research Council, part of the National Academies.  The purpose of the Committee is to assist the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to implement strategies to improve public attitudes and beliefs about mental health and substance abuse disorders.   In the wake of the tragic death of comedian Robin Williams, it is our honor to serve on this Committee and help inform the government's efforts on this critical topic.  Changing social norms is a challenging business; the Committee's task is to explore the scientific research that can help inform our efforts. 


As of 2013, Vicky Rideout was named editor of Reviews and Commentary for the Journal of Children and Media. Here are a few great pieces from the Journal you can access for free online:

A commentary by New America’s Lisa Guernsey about translating research to the public, with a case study about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations on “Facebook Depression.”

A review of danah boyd’s It’s Complicated and Howard Gardner and Katie Davis’s The App Generation, by June Ahn.

An article about the effects of background TV on child-directed speech by parents, by Tiffany Pempek, Heather Kirkorian, and Dan Anderson.   


October 2014:  Presentation about trends in digital media use among young children, and the ongoing importance of the digital divide, at the Digital Kids Summit. Watch a video of the presentation here 


July 2014:  Panel presentation at the Casual Connect conference in San Francsico.  Read the article "Vicky Rideout Believes in the Power of Media," or watch the panel video here.

June 2014:  Luncheon speaker at the Association of American Publishers conference Content in Context.  


March 2013:  Participated in a panel discussion with Participant Media, The Ad Council, and others at SXSW Interactive in Austin. Topic: Content integration for social causes. Listen to Podcast >

July 2012:  Spoke at The Aspen Institute Children’s Forum, on a panel about video games and health.

May 2012:  Served on The Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, in collaboration with HBO’s series The Weight of the NationRead the Committee’s reportwatch the HBO specials, or read the New England Journal of Medicine’s commentary on our Committee’s recommendations.

September, 2012:  Panelist at the Department of Health and Human Services Symposium Technology and Human Services.

A study for Northwestern University about teens' use of digital health information and tools, including medical websites, social media, health-related apps, and wearable devices.  (Spring, 2015)


A study for Common Sense Media on media use among 8- to 18-year-olds. (Fall, 2015)


A study for the Gates Foundation with Kevin Clark (George Mason University) and Kimberly Scott (Arizona State University) about access to, use of, and attitudes about digital technology among African-American youth. (2014-2016)


A study with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Vikki Katz (Rutgers), also for the Gates Foundation, about technology use and attitudes in Hispanic families with children in the K-8th grades. (2015)

Conference on Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology: How Families Use Media and Technology in their Daily Lives. VJR Consulting organized this conference for Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development.  Speakers included the head of research for Disney Channels Worldwide, the director of the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, and the medical director for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.  See the agenda and participant bios, or watch videos of Vicky Rideout’s presentation to the conference, the panel discussion, or remarks by Richard Culatta, George Askew, or UCLA’s Elinor Ochs.

February 2013:  Moderated a Webinar on the public launch of the NO MORE project for the Joyful Heart Foundation and other NO MORE coalition members. February 2013: Facilitated a forum for Sesame Workshop (the producers of Sesame Street) exploring the potential for the company to pursue a public engagement campaign on early childhood development. Ad Council/Google Panel at Ad Week 

May 10, 2011 - When Google and the Ad Council organized a featured session on content integration at Ad Week 2011, they turned to Vicky Rideout to moderate the panel that included MTV, Bartle Boggle Hegarty, Participant Media, and the American Legacy Foundation.  How can social causes use the same techniques commercial marketers have mastered for getting their message integrated in movies, TV, and advertising? Watch the panel below and find out. 

Vicky Rideout Moderates 2011 Ad Week Panel on Content Integration & Social Change

Vicky Rideout moderates panel discussion with experts on media use among young children, October 2011.