Today Melanie talks with Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D., a senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women and director of the Youth, Media & Wellbeing Research Lab. Dr. Charmaraman’s research interests include technology and adolescent health, digital citizenship, innovative research methods to include overlooked and hidden populations, and how social identities (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, political affiliation) affect wellbeing.
Dr. Charmaraman shares with Melanie her current research on middle school-aged children—6th to 8th grade—and early social media use. They discuss how the manipulation of algorithms in media influences addictive use and promotes feelings of control within games or other platforms. Dr. Charmaraman discusses how not only the quantity of hours spent on screens, but the quality of content is influencing the outcomes of symptoms of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and school efficacy in children. Her research supports ScreenStrong’s message to delay smartphones for children and cites it as a protective factor in their adolescent development as a whole.
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Host: Melanie Hempe
Producer & Editor: Olivia Kernekin