Immunize your children against health dangers of TV

by Darshak Sanghavi | Boston Globe | December 7, 2004

“Borrowing the language of public health, the FCC and others argue that even a single exposure to such language and
undress [on television] is a dangerous toxin for children, like lead in paint. Unfortunately, our relying on these groups to
protect children from media is misguided, since they’re addressing the wrong problem. The danger isn’t the
occasional F-word or exposed breast, but the other messages encouraging unhealthy behavior.

The solution relies on teaching children how to deconstruct media and consume it critically —
thus making them ‘media-literate.’ ‘Making children aware of how they are manipulated, writes
Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, in a medical journal, ‘functions as a ‘mind condom,’
a barrier method [which protects] against the unhealthy influences of media.’”

» See Full Story

Tuning In To A Problem

by Lisa Guernsey | Washington Post | November 9, 2004

“In April, a study appeared in the journal Pediatrics that gave new parents another reason to lose sleep:
Evidence had emerged that…a child who watched
two hours of TV per day before age 3 would be 20 percent more likely to have attention problems at age 7 than a child who watched none.”

“I had never felt concerned about [television in] our household…But the Pediatrics article made me worry about my “why worry?” philosophy.

“Over the next several months, I discovered pockets of new research…that have led my husband and me to pay more attention
to what our daughters watch and how long they watch it.”

» See Full Story, including comments from Dr. Michael Rich, Director of CMCH

Dialogue with Dr. Michael Rich

by Children's Hospital Boston | Children's News | October 1, 2004

Dr. Michael Rich, Director of CMCH, sat down with the Children’s Hospital News to tell them a bit about our organization.
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CAMRA – Unique and Important

by Sandra Calvert, Michael Rich, Patti Miller | The Washington Times | August 24, 2004

Dr. Michael Rich, Director of CMCH, co-authored a letter to the Washington Times about the Children and Media Research Act, also known as the CAMRA bill. Some excerpts from the letter follow:

“American children spend more time using media than they spend in school, with parents, or pursuing any activity other than sleeping. The Children and Media Research Advancement Act (CAMRA) is designed to fund research about the effects of media, particularly the newer interactive media, on children’s health and development.”

“There are vast gaps in what we know. The Kaiser Foundation report tells us about early viewing patterns, but it tells us little about how those experiences affect children’s development. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended no screen time for children younger than age 2, but it did so based on neurodevelopmental research rather than research with media and infants.”

“Knowledge is essential for informing policy-makers, child advocates, pediatricians and families about how our children can use media in constructive, not destructive, ways. CAMRA is a positive step in ensuring that outcome.”

Don’t Judge a Videogame By its Cover…

by Kimberly Thompson | Children's Hospital Boston | August 15, 2004

So says a study by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard School of Public Health. The study, which is the only independent analysis based on actual video game play, showed that many Teen-rated games have a surprising amount of violence.
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Video Game Ratings Not Always Accurate

by American Academy of Pediatrics | AAP News | April 1, 2004

In recent CMCH research on video game ratings, “authors concluded that adolescents and their parents who rely on content descriptors when choosing games may be surprised at what the games actually include.”

“They suggested that pediatricians ask patients about their experience with video games and educate them about content. In addition, parents should observe their children playing games so they can discuss game content.”

Teen-Rated Video Games Loaded With Violence

by Department of Public Affairs | Children's Hospital Boston | March 11, 2004

A CMCH study on video game ratings in published in Medscape General Medicine “demonstrates quantitatively that T-rated video games contain significant amounts of violence, injury, and death.”

CMCH Researchers “urge parents to judge for themselves the appropriateness of game content, both by using the ESRB rating information and by experiencing the game with their child.”

» See Full Text of Press Release

Childhood Obesity – Advancing Prevention & Treatment

by NIHCM Foundation | National Institure for Health Care Management | November 1, 2003

“The national epidemic of obesity in the United States continues to raise significant concerns about the associated shot- and long-term health implications, particularly in children. On April 9, 2003, the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation held a forum to share information on programs, research and evidence-based efforts, and successful prevention and treatment options.”

Dr. Michael Rich, Director of CMCH,
presented his innovative research method called Video Intervention/Prevention Assessment (VIA). This technique calls for giving camcorders to participants to document their lives, then using qualitative analysis methods to review the tapes and gather data. Dr. Rich has used this technique with overweight adolescents to learn more about their experiences.

Dr. Rich comments “Ultimately, when patients teach clinicians what they experience and what they need, we hope that both will engage more fully in the therapeutic endeavor, and clinical care will become both more humane and more effective.”

» Go to VIA website

Make ‘Em Like ‘Beckham’

by Stephanie Schorow | The Edge | September 4, 2003

“A number of independent movies that focused on the lives of teenage girls won big at the box office, attracting not only girls, but their parents and probably more than
a few boys”, including Bend It Like Beckham, Whale Rider, and I Capture the Castle. Thirteen is a more somber, gritty look at teen angst.

Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, welcomes such movies, “saying that attention to girls is ‘long overdue’. But what really pleases him is not just
the heroines but that the plots ‘are about what is heroic and special in human beings: people behaving honorably, people listening to
their better angels.’”

“‘If images of gratuitous violence can negatively affect kids, then movies with positive images can help kids learn positive behavior,’ he believes. ‘Every moment is a teachable moment – this includes the time in front of TV or movie screen or video game,’ he said.”

Although Thirteen shows explicit scenes
of self-destructive teens, the context makes it a teachable moment. ‘One could hardly say that MacBeth encourages violence, yet it’s all
about violence,’ Rich said. The makers of Thirteen ‘show all these negative behaviors but they all show how they hurt the person who takes it on.’”

Chronically Ill Kids Reach for the Camera

by Madge Kaplan, WGBH Boston | National Public Radio | November 30, 2002

Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, “has been asking young people to create
their own video narratives so doctors could better understand what it’s like to live
with a chronic disease. Through a project called Video Intervention/Prevention Assessment, Rich has sent 36 of his patients
home with video cameras and an order to film everything — their homes, their schools and their daily activities.”

» Hear the broadcast, see the full story, and see video