Over the course of a two-day, virtual research retreat on May 24th and 25th, 2021, more than 120 international, interdisciplinary researchers, clinicians, and government agency representatives met to discuss the impacts of digital media on children’s mental health. The group bridged the fields of psychology, psychiatry, communication, medicine, neuroscience, social work, public health, data science, addiction treatment, and pediatrics, and proposed a comprehensive national research agenda around mental health, young people, and digital media use, identifying what is so compelling about digital media, how these tools impact mental health, and where more study is critically needed. Titled Digital Media And Mental Health, the retreat offered a kaleidoscopic view of the many ways digital media and young people’s mental health outcomes interact, and what can be done to address these concerns from a holistic perspective.

“Children and Screens convened this first-of-its-kind mental health summit to bring together the experts in the fields of child development, mental health, and screen media to better understand the complex associations between young people’s use of digital media and their mental health. I am pleased that, as a result, a critical research agenda has been established that will chart the course of scientific inquiry for years to come.” - Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder, Children and Screens
 
Overarching themes of the retreat included an acknowledgement that there is no doubt that young people’s mental health is in a fragile position; this has only been exacerbated by a year of social distancing, virtual school, online extracurricular activities, social unrest, and health crises. Digital media have a unique role in both contributing to and ameliorating mental health concerns for children and adolescents, though the nuances of these associations are yet to be fully understood. It is critical to understand how children are managing their time online, which children are most susceptible to its negative influences, how the screen time is affecting engagement with siblings and families, and how factors like content, context, and quantity of screen time impact these associations.
 
Detailed findings from Digital Media And Mental Health will be published in one or more white papers in the coming months, outlining the state of the science, where we must go next, and concrete ideas for new research on these topics. Children and Screens is announcing the opportunity for participants to apply for $100,000 worth of seed funding for novel, objective, interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research to implement the research agenda discussed.

Participants

* Planning Committee Member

Nicholas Allen, PhD Professor of Clinical Psychology, Director of Clinical Training, Director, Center for Digital Mental Health, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon
Craig Anderson, PhD Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Iowa State University
Lynsay Ayer, PhD Suicide Prevention Program Consultant, National Institute of Mental Health; Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation
* Kara Bagot, MD Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Erin Belfort, MD Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Maine Medical Center
Jay Belsky, PhD Robert M. and Natalie Reid Dorn Professor of Human Development, University of California, Davis
Ine Beyens, PhD Assistant Professor, Center for Research on Children, Adolescents, and the Media, Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam
David Bickham, PhD Research Scientist, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Adolescent Medicine and Digital Wellness Lab, Instructor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Julia Brailovskaia, PhD Postdoctoral Researcher, Mental Health Research and Treatment Center, Rhur-Universität Bochum
Florence Breslin, MS Researcher
Jeanne Brockmyer, PhD Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, Emerita, University of Toledo
Dillon Browne, PhD Canada Research Chair in Child and Family Clinical Psychology, Assistant Professor, Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment, University of Waterloo
Kaitlyn Burnell, PhD Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University
Nicholas Carson, MD, FRPC Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry; Clinical Research Associate; Health Equity Research Lab; Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Hilarie Cash, PhD, LMHC, CSAT Founding Member; Chief Clinical Officer; Education Director, reSTART Gaming and Internet Treatment Program
Linda Charmaraman, PhD Senior Research Scientist, Wellesley Centers for Women
Jason Chein, PhD Professor of Psychology; Director, TUBRIC Imaging Center, Temple University
Sophia Choukas-Bradley, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Delaware
Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH Director, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children's Research Institute; Editor-in-chief, JAMA Pediatrics
Christoph Correll, MD Professor of Psychiatry and Molecular Medicine, Zucker School of Medicine and Hofstra/Northwell
Sarah Coyne, PhD Professor, Associate Director, School of Family Life, Brigham Young University
Wendy Craig, PhD Scientific Director of PREVNet; Professor of Psychology, Queen's University
Chuck Czeisler, MD, PhD Senior Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Professor of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Katie Davis, EdD Associate Professor and PhD Program Chair, Information School, University of Washington
Kelly Davis, MS Associate Vice President of Peer and Youth Advocacy, Mental Health America
Zsolt Demetrovics, PhD, DSc Chair of Centre of Excellence in Responsible Gaming, University of Gibraltar
Stephanie Diez-Morel, PhD, LCSW, IGDC, MCAP Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; Founder, Reboot and Recover
Gail Dines, PhD President and CEO of Culture Reframed; Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women's Studies at Wheelock College
Sarah Domoff, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Central Michigan University; Research Faculty Affiliate, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
Caitlin Elsaesser, MAT, LICSW, PhD Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Connecticut
* Elizabeth Englander, PhD Executive Director, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University
Layla Esposito, PhD Program Director, Child Development and Behavior Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Jasmine Fardouly, PhD Research Fellow, Centre for Emotional Health, Macquarie University
Meredith Gansner, MD Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Instructor in Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance
Michelle Garrison, PhD Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Seattle Children's Research Institute: Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, University of Washington: School of Medicine - Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Doug Gentile, PhD Professor of Psychology, Iowa State University
Traci Gillig, PhD Assistant Professor, College of Communication, Washington State University
Diana Graber, MA Co-Founder, CyberWise; Founder, Cyber Civics
David Greenfield, PhD Founder, Center for Internet and Technology Addiction; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
James A. Griffin, PhD Chief, Child Development and Behavior Branch, Early Learning and School Readiness Research Program, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Mark Griffiths, PhD Distinguished Professor, Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University
Lauren Hale, PhD Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook Medicine
Jessica Hamilton, PhD Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University
Lauren Hartstein, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado Boulder
Daniel Hipp, PhD Advanced Research Fellow in Polytrauma, Denver VA Medical Center; Research Consultant, Digital Media Treatment and Education Center
Elizabeth Hoge, MD Associate Professor and Director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University School of Medicine

* Pam Hurst-Della Pietra, D.O.

Founder and President, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development; Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Public Health, Department of Family, Population & Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook Medicine
Doug Hyun Han, MD, PhD Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Chung-Ang University
Charmain Jackman, PhD Founder, InnoPsych, Inc; Clinical Psycholgist
Johanna Jarcho, PhD Assistant Professor, Cognition and Neuroscience Area, Social Area, Social Area Director, Department of Psychology, Temple University
Michaeline Jensen, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
* Kris Kaliebe, MD Associate Professor, Psychiatry; College of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, University of South Florida
Betul Keles PhD Student, University of Limerick
Bianca Klettke, PhD Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, Deakin University
Robin Kowalski, PhD Professor of Psychology, Clemson University
Louise La Sala, PhD Research Assistant, Orygen, National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Australia
Matthew Lapierre, PhD Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Arizona
Monique LeBourgeois, PhD Associate Professor, Integrative Psychology, University of Colorado Boulder
Steve S Lee, PhD Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
Amanda Lenhart Program Director, Health and Data, Data & Society
Megan K. Maas, PhD Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, Michigan State University
* Sheri Madigan, PhD Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Calgary
Tracy Markle, MA, LPC Founder, Co-Owner, Co-Director, Digital Media Treatment and Education Center
Becky Mars, PhD Vice Chancellor Fellow, Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol Medical School
Rachel Marsh, PhD Professor of Medical Psychology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center; Director, MRI Research Program, New York State Psychiatric Institute
Brae McArthur, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary
Brandon McDaniel, PhD Research Scientist, Health Services and Informatics Research, Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, Parkview Research Center
Lauren B McInroy, MSW, PhD Assistant Professor, College of Social Work, The Ohio State University
Dar Meshi, PhD Assistant Professor, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Michigan State University
Michael Milham, MD, PhD Vice President of Research; Director, Center for the Developing Brain; Director, Healthy Brain Network; Senior Pediatric Psychopharmacologist, Child Mind Institute
Amy Nathanson, PhD Professor, School of Communication, The Ohio State University
Jacqueline Nesi, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School, Brown University
Stephen O'Connor, PhD Health Scientist Administrator/Program Officer, National Institute of Mental Health
Meghan Owenz, PhD Assistant Teaching Professor, Rehabilitation and Human Services, Penn State Berks
Martin Paulus, MD Scientific Director and President, Laureate Institute for Brain Research
Jessica Piotrowski, PhD Associate Professor, School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam
Koen Ponnet, PhD Professor, Department of Communication Sciences, Ghent University
* Marc Potenza, PhD, MD Professor of Psychiatry in the Child Study Center and of Neuroscience; Yale School of Medicine
Mitch Prinstein, PhD Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Assistant Dean, Honors Carolina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Stephanie Reich, PhD Professor, School of Education, University of California - Irvine
Jo Robertson Sex Therapist and Research Lead at The Light Project, New Zealand
Dan Romer, PhD Research Director, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania
Mary Rooney, PhD Clinical Psychologist; Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychosocial Interventions Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health
* Larry Rosen, PhD Professor Emeritus and Past Chair, Psychology Department, California State University
Hans-Juergen Rumpf, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Lübeck
Galia Siegel, PhD Acting Branch Chief, Clinical Trials Operations Branch, Office of Clinical Research, National Institute of Mental Health
Amy Slater, PhD Associate Professor, Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, Bristol
Leah Somerville, PhD Professor, Director, Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology, Harvard University
Ed Spector, PsyD Psychologist, Spector Therapy
Vasileios Stavropoulos, PhD Senior Lecturer, Clinical Psychology, Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, College of Health and Biomedicine and Institute for Health and Sport, Victoria University
Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD Clinical Psychologist, Consultant, Speaker, Author
Jennifer Stevens Aubrey, PhD Associate Professor; Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Communication, University of Arizona
Kaveri Subrahmanyam, PhD Professor of Psychology, College of Natural and Social Sciences, California State University, Los Angeles
An-Pyng Sun, PhD, LCSW, LCADC Professor, School of Social Work, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Clifford Sussman, MD Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Susan Tapert, PhD Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego
Jeff Temple, PhD Distinguished Chair in Community Health, Professor, Department of Ob/Gyn, Director, Center for Violence Prevention, University of Texas Medical Branch
Moriah Thomason, PhD Associate Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Neil Thurman, PhD Professor, Institute of Communication Studies and Media Research, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich
Michael Tsappis, MD Director of Psychiatric Services, Pediatric Health Care Associates, Harvard Medical School
Patti Valkenburg, PhD Distinguished Professor of Communication, University of Amsterdam
Joris Van Ouytsel, PhD Assistant Professor, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University
Teresa Vente, DO, MPH Attending Physician, Palliative Care; Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Carol Vidal, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Sebastian Wachs, PhD Deputy Professor of Media Education, University of Potsdam; Honorary Research Fellow, ABC Dublin
Wayne Warburton, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University
* Paul Weigle, MD Associate Medical Director, Natchaug Hospital Ambulatory Services; Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist; Chair, Media Committee, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Emily Weinstein, EdD Postdoctoral Fellow, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University
Janis Whitlock, PhD Research Scientist, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Human Development, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs
Michelle Wright, PhD Research Associate in Psychology, Penn State University
Michele Ybarra, MPH, PhD President and Research Director, Center for Innovative Public Health Research
Julia Zehr, PhD Branch Chief, Developmental Mechanisms and Trajectories of Psychopathology Branch, Division of Translational Research, National Institute of Mental Health
Jamie Zelazny, PhD, MPH, RN Assistant Professor, Health and Community Systems, University of Pittsburgh