Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures

Workshop Summary

Alexandra Beatty, Rapporteur

Program Committee for a Workshop on Improving Research on Interactive Media and Children’s Health

Board on Children, Youth, and Families

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Institute of Medicine

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures - Workshop Summary Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures Workshop Summary Alexandra Beatty, Rapporteur Program Committee for a Workshop on Improving Research on Interactive Media and Children’s Health Board on Children, Youth, and Families Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Institute of Medicine NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures - Workshop Summary THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. 04–1101–310 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number ISBN 0-309-10275-8 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624–6242 or (202) 334–3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Printed in the United States of America Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Suggested citation: National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. (2006). Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures. Alexandra Beatty, Rapporteur. Program Committee for a Workshop on Improving Research on Interactive Media and Children’s Health. Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures - Workshop Summary THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J.Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V.Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the govemment, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J.Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A.Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures - Workshop Summary PROGRAM COMMITTEE FOR A WORKSHOP ON IMPROVING RESEARCH ON INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND CHILDREN’S HEALTH ALETHA C.HUSTON (Chair), Department of Human Ecology, University of Texas, Austin DANIEL R.ANDERSON, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts MARK P.BECKER, Office of the Provost, University of South Carolina NATASHA J.CABRERA, Department of Human Development, University of Maryland JUDY S.DeLOACHE, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia DAVID FORSYTH, Computer Science Division, University of California, Berkeley SANDRA L.HOFFERTH, Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland SHEPPARD G.KELLAM, American Institutes for Research, Baltimore SUSAN M.McHALE, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University DONALD F.ROBERTS, Department of Communication, Stanford University JANET WARD SCHOFIELD, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh VICTOR C.STRASBURGER, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico ELLEN WARTELLA (liaison to the Board on Children, Youth, and Families) Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, Riverside ROSEMARY CHALK, Project Director WENDY KEENAN, Program Associate

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Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures - Workshop Summary BOARD ON CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES MICHAEL I.COHEN (Chair), Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine BARBARA WOLFE (Vice Chair), Department of Economics and Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin WILLIAM BEARDSLEE, Department of Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital, Boston P.LINDSAY CHASE-LANSDALE, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University THOMAS DeWITT, Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center MARY JANE ENGLAND, Office of the President, Regis College BRENDA ESKENAZI, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley CHRISTINE C.FERGUSON, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University NEAL HALFON, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles SUSAN MILLSTEIN, Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of California, San Francisco ELENA NIGHTINGALE, Institute of Medicine, The National Academies, Washington, DC LAURENCE STEINBERG, Department of Psychology, Temple University ELLEN WARTELLA, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, Riverside ROSEMARY CHALK, Board Director WENDY KEENAN, Program Associate

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Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures - Workshop Summary CONTENTS Page     Preface   ix 1:   Introduction   1 2:   Media Consumption as a Public Health Issue   4 3:   The Current State of Media Research   8 4:   Methodological Questions, Challenges, and Opportunities   13 5:   Perspectives from Other Kinds of Epidemiological Research   16 6:   Where Next?   19     References   22     Appendix: Workshop Agenda and Participants   23

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Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures - Workshop Summary Preface Concerns about the theory, quality, and rigor of methods and measures in studies of the impact of media technologies on child health and development have emerged in recent Academy studies. A 2006 study of the impact of food marketing on the diets and health of children and youth (Institute of Medicine, 2006) and an earlier 2004 study on underage drinking (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2004) both called attention to the pervasive nature of media in the social environments of today’s children and youth and the limited capacity of research studies to understand its nature, intensity, duration, or effects. In response to these concerns, members of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine sought to organize a planning discussion to explore the strengths and limitations of the methods and measures of interactions between media influences and child and adolescent health and development. Board member Ellen Wartella framed a set of key questions that ultimately led to a collaboration with the Kaiser Family Foundation in organizing a planning meeting to examine these issues and to identify strategies that could inform the design and implementation of future surveys and studies. A program committee chaired by Aletha Huston met by phone to plan the agenda for the meeting and to identify speakers and other participants. The program committee commissioned two papers to guide the discussions: Elizabeth Vandewater from the University of Texas prepared an overview of the types of measures currently employed in selected media studies, and Michael Oakes from the University of Minnesota presented an analysis from the perspective of a social epidemiologist on the merits of selected study designs and assessment measures. Both papers are available online, along with slides from presentations by other speakers (www.bocyf.org). This workshop summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Judy S.DeLoache, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia; Susan McHale, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University; W.James Potter, Department of Communication, University of California at Santa Barbara; Richard Scheines, Department of Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University; and Ellen Wartella, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, Riverside. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Gary

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Studying Media Effects on Children and Youth: Improving Methods and Measures - Workshop Summary Sandefur, College of Letters and Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the author(s) and the institution. Aletha C.Huston Chair Program Committee for a Workshop on Improving Research on Interactive Media and Children’s Health