"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.

Read Vicky Rideout's comments about teens and smart phones in the August 2018 issue of the Atlantic


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

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

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

And more - stay tuned!  


Given the variety of activities children can undertake on their phones and tablets, does it 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. 

Forget TV! iPhones and iPads dazzle babies
CNN, Kelly Wallace, October 29, 2013
When I had my first daughter more than seven years ago, I was adamant: no TV until she was 2 years old and limited exposure after that. As a reporter, I had done enough stories on children and screen time, and knew full well that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for babies under 2. Read More >

On The Air This Week, We're Exploring Digital Childhood
NPR All Tech Considered, Elise Hu, October 28, 2013
For our first attempt at a theme week, we chose "raising digital natives," or, more simply, technology and our kids. It's especially good timing — the American Academy of Pediatrics this morning released updated guidelines on whether parents should allow screen time, relaxing previous rules. (We'll link to it when the group publishes it.) And the non-profit Common Sense Media is showing that among children under two, that 38 percent had used mobile devices like iPhones and tablets. Read More >

The earliest of adopters
Marketplace, Amy Scott, October 28, 2013
A new study from the group Common Sense Media found that 38 percent of children under two have used a mobile device, like an iPhone or tablet computer. That’s up from 10 percent just two years ago. “Today, as many little babies and one-year-olds have used smart phones or tablets as all kids under the age of 8 had done nearly two years ago,” says Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense. “That’s a phenomenal increase.” Read More >

Kids’ Use of Mobile Gadgets Grows 89%
WSJ, Geoffrey, Fowler, October 28, 2013
New research from child advocacy group Common Sense Media has found that children’s use of tablets, smartphones and other portable gadgets with screens has exploded over the last two years, just as doctors warn too much screen time could be bad for kids. Read More >

New Milestone Emerges: Baby’s First iPhone App
NY Times, Tamar Lewin, October 27, 2013
As adults turn, increasingly, to mobile devices like tablets, Kindles, and iPhones, their children — even the smallest ones — are doing so as well, according to a new study, “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America, 2013” by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that examines children’s use of technology, and rates children’s apps, games and Web sites. Read More >

Survey: For young children, mobile devices now a mainstay
Washington Post, Cecilia Kang, October 27, 2013
The vast majority in the United States are using smartphones and tablets, and for much longer periods of time. Read More >


Study: Kids Mobile Media Consumption Exploding
B&C, John Eggerton, October 27, 2013
If a new study is on the mark, TV everywhere efforts that include Nickelodeon, Disney Channel or other kids-targeted television could reap big rewards among the toddlers with tablets set. Young children's access to mobile media devices has exploded in the past two years, although television is still the medium of choice, and educational television is the most-watched genre. Read More >

TV violence highlights parents' role
June 8, 2013, SF Gate
"The media industry are really big players on Capitol Hill, and they don't want" a universal ratings system, said Vicky Rideout, a San Francisco resident who has been one of the nation's leading researchers on children and media violence for two decades. She's an editor for the Journal of Children and Media. Read More >

Toddlers and Tablets: Way of the Future?
June 5, 2013, ABC News
A survey by Northwestern's School of Communication of 2,300 parents of children aged to 8-years-old found that 37 percent of parents still report they are likely to use their tablet or smartphone to entertain their kids, despite the fact that 54 percent worry their children's use of mobile devices had a negative impact on their physical activity. Read More >

Most Parents Show Little Worry About Media Use, Survey Says
June 4, 2013, New York Times
Do parents worry about the growing amount of time their children spend with media? One new study suggests that most parents are largely unconcerned. And perhaps no wonder: Parents who show little concern about their children’s use of technology themselves spend big chunks of their leisure time with media. The study’s co-author, Vicky Rideout, an independent researcher who over the last decade has done pioneering research into patterns of technology use, said she was surprised to find that 59 percent of the 2,300 parents surveyed were not worried... Read Article >

Study: No screen-time war in young kids' homes
Most parents of children 8 and younger aren't concerned about media use, NU report says
June 3, 2013, Chicago Tribune        
Contrary to popular belief, parents say they are firmly in control when it comes to managing their young children's media use, according to a report scheduled for release Tuesday by researchers at Northwestern University. Screen time has long been viewed as a common parent headache, along with fussy eating and poor sleeping habits. But despite all the hand-wringing over the ubiquitous smartphones, tablets and other digital devices woven into American family life, it is not the battleground often portrayed in magazines, TV shows and elsewhere. Read More >

Most parents not worried about children's screen time: How the digital age is playing out for families
June 4, 2013, USA Today
Most parents of young children are not very concerned about their use of TV, computers, tablets and other media – maybe because kids who spend the most time looking at screens have parents who are heavy users, too, a new survey suggests. Read More >

Reading, Writing and Video Games
March 15, 2013, New York Times
WHEN I was a child, I liked to play video games. On my brother’s Atari, I played Night Driver. On his Apple II, I played Microwave, Aztec and Taipan! When I got to go to the arcade, I played Asteroids and Space Invaders. Here’s what I learned: At a certain level on Microwave, the music from the bar scene in Star Wars comes on. If I am at the front line when aliens descend to Earth, we’ll all be in trouble. Read More >

Children, Teens and Entertainment Media: The View from the Classroom
October, 2012.  Read the New York Times story on the national survey of teachers we directed for Common Sense Media, about how teachers view the impact of entertainment media on students’ academic skills and social development.   Download the full report or visit Common Sense Media’s research library for more of their work.  

They’re on Facebook, But Talking Beats Texting Among Teens
June 27, 2012. Michelle Maltais, LA Times; Mom and Dad, when your teen says, “But everybody’s doing it,” they’re actually telling the truth—not that that should sway you. Read More > 

Social Media, Social Life:  How Teens View Their Digital Lives.  June 26, 2012:  Read the new study we directed and wrote for Common Sense Media, about how teens think social media impacts their social and emotional well-being. 

Download Report > 
Download Infographic > 
Read Washington Post Article >

Listen to Vicky on public radio’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane talking about screen time and the digital divide.  June 21, 2012. 


Listen to Vicky Rideout discuss her recent research on media use and academic skills, on public radio's City Visions show.

Disney kicks junk food out of the magic kingdom
June 5, 2012: NPR’s Marketplace quotes Vicky Rideout on Disney’s new anti-obesity efforts. Read More >

Wasting Time Is New Divide In Digital Era
May 30, 2012: In the 1990s, the term ''digital divide'' emerged to describe technology's haves and have-nots. It inspired many efforts to get the latest computing tools into the hands of all Americans, particularly low-income families. Read More >

Missed connections in our digital lives
April 15, 2012: The Boston Globe
As screens and gadgets increasingly claim our eyes and time, shared family experience is feeling the squeeze. Read More >

Go Directly, Digitally to Jail? Classic Toys Learn New Clicks
February 25, 2012 - New York Times
Generation after generation, Monopoly money stacked up in piles of pink, green and gold, Hot Wheels raced across floors and Barbie was, well, just a doll. Not anymore. Read More >

Do toddlers really need computers to learn?
December 12, 2011 - USA TODAY
Time was when all kids wanted for Christmas was to sit on Santa's lap. Now, they may get a laptop. This year, a number of toymakers are hoping to stuff babies' stockings with kid-size computers, some targeting babies too young to talk — a trend that worries many parents and pediatricians. Read More >

Kids and Screen Time
November 17, 2011
How does screen time affect kids? And does the answer change if you're talking about e-books, educational television, computer math games? We explore the latest on kids and technology. Listen Now >

October 25, 2011 - Watch Diane Sawyer’s report about our recent study for Common Sense Media, “Zero to Eight:  Children’s Media Use in America.” Watch Video >

Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children
October 25, 2011, New York Times
Jaden Lender, 3, sings along softly with the “Five Little Monkeys” app on the family iPad, and waggles his index finger along with the monkey doctor at the warning, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” He likes crushing the ants in “Ant Smasher,” and improving his swing in the golf app. But he is no app addict: when the one featuring Grover from Sesame Street does not work right, Jaden says, “Come on, iPad!’” — then wanders happily off to play with his train set. Read More >

Toddler Video: Survey Says Young Kids are Tuned In
October 25, 2011, Broadcasting & Cable
Some 39% of 2-4-year-olds use a smart phone or tablet, and more than half (52%) of kids ages 5-8 do so. That is according to a just-released national study from Common Sense Media. "For parents, pediatricians, and child development experts concerned about screen media use among children under two, this report indicates that a substantial number of infants and toddlers are watching TV and DVDs on a regular basis," the study concluded.  It is the first of a series of reports from Common Sense as part of its new Program for the Study of Children and the Media, which is headed by Vicky Rideout, former VP of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "These results make it clear that media plays a large and growing role in children's lives, even the youngest of children," said Rideout, president of VJR Consulting.  Read More >

Toddlers and Television
October 27, 2011, KQED
According to a new survey, nearly half of children age two and younger watch an average of two hours of TV per day. But the American Academy of Pediatrics just issued a policy saying parents should keep children under two as "screen-free" as possible, citing research that shows harmful effects on early development. Read More >

Kids Increasingly Staring at Glowing Screens, Study Finds
October 25, 2011, PBS NewsHour
Pediatricians have long warned of the risks of exposing young children to too much television and other electronic devices. A new study suggests such warnings are having little effect. The study, released today by Common Sense Media, surveyed nearly 1,400 parents.
Read More >

As more use tech, child development is an issue
October 25, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle
Nearly half of babies under age 2 in the United States watch an average of two hours of TV every day, and 10 percent of children that age have used a smart phone, tablet or other mobile device at least once in their young lives, according to a survey released today. Read More >

Speech advice: Be upbeat, stick to message, be gone
The Associated Press
BOSTON - In a windowless room beneath the podium, a team of speechwriters is imposing John Kerry's will on the words of the other speakers at the Democratic National Convention. Their orders: Go easy on the Bush bashing. Each speech is read and re-read, heavily edited and rehearsed as part of a tightly controlled process designed to impress independent voters who are tired of negative politics. Read More >