At Home with the Child Experts: The Science of Screen Time During COVID-19

Watch now: Recording available to watch and share via the SRCD YouTube Channel.
Event Details

This 30-minute informal conversation gives parents and caregivers a chance to ask leading child development experts pressing questions about screen time during the coronavirus pandemic. What does the research say about adapting screen time rules? How can parents use screen time to help their kids maintain friendships and learn? Should parents have a plan for gradually reducing screen time again once at-home directives are lifted? Participants will have the option to submit questions in advance or post them in real time during the event.


Meet the Experts:

Rachel Barr, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown Early Learning Project. Dr. Barr received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Otago, New Zealand in 1988. She is primarily interested in how children bridge the gap between what they learn from media and how they apply that information in the real world. Barr has published numerous studies investigating the effects of content and context of media on early learning. She has written frequently about the transfer deficit which is the consistent finding that infants and toddlers learn less from television and touchscreens than from face-to-face interactions due to memory constraints and also on how the transfer deficit can be ameliorated by including repetition, additional language cues, and appropriate use of television features to enhance learning. She has also examined how parents can facilitate learning from both touchscreens and television. Finally, she has provided developmental expertise while working with media developers, and she has collaborated on a project that has used media content as part of an early intervention parenting program for incarcerated teen fathers. She has focused on dissemination of research findings to parents in coordination with the organization ZEROTOTHREE where she had earlier held a leadership fellowship.

Yalda T. Uhls, Ph.D., a former senior exec at MGM and Sony, left the movie world to study child development, earning a Ph.D. in Psychology at UCLA. Uhls founded ​The Center for Scholars & Storytellers​, an organization dedicated to bridging the work of child development researchers and youth content creators. Uhls is also an assistant ​adjunct professor at UCLA ​where she does ​research​ on how media affect the social behavior of tweens and teens and teaches a class on Digital Media and Human Development; she is an advisor for Common Sense Media, YouTube Kids and Family, Barbie and the Jacobs Foundations Learning and Science Exchange; and is the author of the parenting book ​Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact not Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age.​ Research conducted by Dr. Uhls has been featured in ​Time Magazine​, the ​NY Times​, ​USA Today, NPR​ and many others, and published in academic journals such as Developmental Psychology and Computers in Human Behavior.

Laura L. Namy, Ph.D. (moderator), is Executive Director of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). Dr. Namy’s responsibilities include overseeing all staff and business operations of the Society, working in partnership with Governing Council, Committees, and Caucuses to further SRCD’s Strategic Goals, and representing SRCD’s interests in science advocacy settings and in collaborations with sister associations and societies. Prior to taking the helm of SRCD in 2017, Dr. Namy spent 19 years on the Faculty of the Psychology Department at Emory University where she ran the Language and Learning Lab. At Emory, she also directed the interdisciplinary Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture, designed and coordinated a joint major in Psychology and Linguistics, directed a Psychology Summer Study Abroad Program, and directed the Graduate Program in Cognition and Development. Dr. Namy’s professional experiences have included serving as an officer of the Cognitive Development Society, Editor of the Journal of Cognition and Development, and most recently, serving for three years as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and has been a career-long member of SRCD. Dr. Namy earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from Northwestern University and her B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Indiana University.

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