Areas of Study
Effects of Social Media Use
Social media use is prevalent among today’s youth, yet there are many inconsistencies in the research on its effects. At the Digital Wellness Lab, we strive to better understand how social media influences young people’s peer and family relationships, physical and mental health, and overall well-being, using novel methodologies that center the experience of the individual and move away from a “one-size-fits-all” mentality.
Design Strategies for Healthy Tech
When it comes to promoting healthy, safe, positive media use for children and adolescents, much of the onus falls to parents, caregivers, and young people themselves. But because tech companies hold the power to change how products are designed, delivered, and marketed to youth, one of the goals of our work is to advance child-centered design strategies that lead to healthier, safer, more positive experiences for young users.
Problematic Interactive Media Use (PIMU)
We work closely with the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders (CIMAID) at Boston Children’s Hospital to better understand the characteristics and risk factors of problematic interactive media use (PIMU) in order to develop intervention strategies for clinicians and the pediatric healthcare industry at large to promote healthier media habits among youth and their families.
Media and Youth Development
Access to media starts at an early age, and can lay the foundation for media habits and health outcomes throughout a child’s development. At the Digital Wellness Lab, we explore how the content and delivery mechanisms of various types of media affect children’s and teens’ experiences and outcomes.
We conduct Digital Wellness Pulse Surveys periodically throughout the year to stay current on topics related to children’s and adolescents’ media and technology use. Our early surveys asked parents about their child’s use of media and its impact on their well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent surveys focus on asking adolescents about a range of topics to help us better understand their perspective on different aspects of the digital environment.
In addition to our own research, we rely on the work of other researchers and organizations to gain an understanding of the effects of digital media and technology on young people. Research briefs are one way that we share the relevant findings of a particular study (or research on a specific topic) with our supporters and the general public.
The Digital Wellness Lab is a mission-driven organization made up of a dynamic and collaborative team of experts and thought leaders. If you are interested in joining our research or administrative team, please email us.