Just released:  New report from the National Academies of Sciences summarizing workshops on changing social norms and promoting behavior change on behavioral health issues.  Vicky Rideout shared her experience working with Hollywood on content integration.  Report available free here.


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 More >

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;

A survey of 9- to 11-year-olds about issues they face in their daily lives;

An evaluation of a pro-social media campaign for Too Small to Fail;

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. 


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.

Learning at Home: Families’ Educational Media Use in America
Since 1999, a series of studies undertaken by academic experts, consumer advocates like Common Sense Media, and philanthropies such as the MacArthur Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts has documented the rise of media consumption by youth. More research, however, should be done on children during the preschool and middle-childhood periods, which scholars in child development, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience have pointed to as critical for all that follows. Surely a real understanding of the new norms of behavior among younger children and their families in what we at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center have termed “the digital Wild West” will help prepare educators, parents, and policymakers... Read More >

Round two of Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America for Common Sense Media
October 28, 2013
"Even a casual observer of children and families today knows big changes are afoot when it comes to children and new media technologies. This report, based on the results of a large-scale, nationally representative survey, documents for the first time exactly how big those changes are." Read More >

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
In the popular press, much is made about how new digital technologies such as iPads and smartphones are revolutionizing family life. Children and parents alike now have a growing stream of new technological resources at their fingertips, offering increased opportunities for engagement, entertainment, and education. But while anecdotes about families and media abound, empirical evidence on national trends is much harder to come by. This study explores how parents are incorporating new digital technologies as well as older media platforms into their family lives and parenting practices. 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.  

Digital Literacy and Citizenship:  The Teacher’s Perspective
This survey snapshot for Common Sense Media surveys teachers regarding how they assess their students’ digital skills. Download Survey >


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 >

Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America
October 2011: Having an accurate understanding of the role of media in children’s lives is essential for all of those concerned about promoting healthy child development: parents, educators, pediatricians, public health advocates, and policymakers, to name just a few. The purpose of this study is to provide publicly accessible, reliable data about media use among children ages 0 to 8, to help inform the efforts of all of those who are working to improve children’s lives. Read More >


Click here to watch Vicky Rideout’s presentation of data about media use among children ages 0-8. 


Children, Media, and Race: Media Use Among White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian American Children
June 2011, Northwestern University Study
This report documents differences in the role of media in the lives of White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian children in the United States: which types of media they use, how much time they spend in various media activities, which media platforms and devices they own, and what the media environment is like in their households. The data presented here are the result of new analyses of two data sets, breaking out the findings by race and ethnicity: the 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation Generation M2 survey of media use among 8- to18-year-olds, and the Foundation’s 2006 survey about media use among children age six and under (The Media Family). Read More >

Conference on children, media and race for Northwestern
June 8, 2011, Washington, D.C.
How should we interpret, explain and understand the differences in media use by children of different races and ethnicities? What are the broad implications for young people and society? These were the questions that Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development wanted to address at its annual Lambert Family Communications Conference.  VJR Consulting brought together a lively and eclectic group of experts ranging from Federal Communications Commission member Mignon Clyburn to the head of MTV’s Latino network MTVTr3s and the Deputy Director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.  Click here to see the agenda for the conference.

Protecting Our Kids’ Privacy in a Digital World: A Common Sense Policy Brief
December 2010, Common Sense Media
Most kids today live their lives online, immersed in a mobile and digital landscape. This brave new world has revolutionized childhood. Kids and teens now create and consume enormous amounts of online and mobile content. Their access to people and information presents both possibilities and problems. While the Internet is a platform for innovation and economic growth and brings rich resources for entertainment and learning, the very nature of digital interaction creates deep concerns about kids’ privacy.

Today, our kids are growing up in public. Whatever they text or post can be searched, copied, pasted, distributed, collected, and viewed by vast invisible audiences. Parents rightly fear that their children’s activities and personal information are being tracked and traced. Read More >


Vicky Rideout speaks with 360 Kid’s Scott Traylor about the release of new research on media use among children ages 0-8. Watch Video>