Center on Media and Child Health

The Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) is a non-profit organization based at Boston Children’s Hospital. CMCH was founded in 2002, by Michael Rich, pediatrician; Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School; and Associate Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


CMCH conducts scientific research to improve the understanding of media influence and provide evidence-based expertise to initiatives and programs that address children's involvement with media.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]


CMCH researchers investigate correlations between media use and children’s physical and mental health outcomes, measuring media exposure in youth.[12] Combining techniques of momentary sampling and video capture, this method is more sensitive to the variety of media used, more responsive to media multitasking, and more accurate in its capture of both media content and usage time.

CMCH researchers have developed the Video Intervention/Prevention Assessment (VIA) method,[13] a research method which allows children and teen patients the opportunity to create video diaries about living with an illness. These videos can be used to teach physicians more about the realities of various conditions. CMCH maintains a database[14] of scientific studies on how media effects children’s health. David Bickham has researched the role of television viewing and social isolation.[15] CMCH has also been involved in research which addresses the media education of pediatric residents.[16]


  1. ^ Lenhart, A., Kahne, J., Middaugh, E., Macgill, A., Evans, C., & Vitak, J. (2008). Teens, video games and civics: Pew Internet & American Life Project.
  2. ^ Calvert, S. L., & Kotler, J. A. (2003). Lessons from children's television: The impact of the Children's Television Act on children's learning. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 24(3), 275-335.
  3. ^ Friedrich, L. K., & Stein, A. H. (1973). Aggressive and prosocial television programs and the natural behavior of preschool children. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 38(4), 1-64.
  4. ^ Rice, M. L., & et al. (1990). Words from "Sesame Street": Learning vocabulary while viewing. Developmental Psychology, 26(3), 421-428.
  5. ^ Valkenburg, P. M., & Peter, J. (2008). Adolescents' identity experiments on the Internet. Communication Research, 35(2), 208-231.
  6. ^ Titus-Ernstoff, L., Dalton, M. A., Adachi-Mejia, A. M., Longacre, M. R., & Beach, M. L. (2008). Longitudinal study of viewing smoking in movies and initiation of smoking by children. Pediatrics, 121(1), 15-21.
  7. ^ Adachi-Mejia, A. M., Longacre, M. R., Gibson, J. J., Beach, M. L., Titus-Ernstoff, L. T., & Dalton, M. A. (2007). Children with a TV in their bedroom at higher risk for being overweight. Int J Obes (Lond), 31(4), 644-651.
  8. ^ Rebecca, L. C. (2005). Sex on television and its impact on American youth: Background and results from the RAND television and adolescent sexuality study. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 14(3), 371-385.
  9. ^ Harrison, K., Taylor, L. D., & Marske, A. L. (2006). Women's and men's eating behavior following exposure to ideal-body images and text. Communication Research, 33(6), 507-529.
  10. ^ Cantor, J., & Omdahl, B. L. (1991). Effects of fictional media depictions of realistic threats on children's emotional responses, expectations, worries, and liking for related activities. Communication Monographs, 58(4),384 - 401.
  11. ^ Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C. L., & Eron, L. D. (2003). Longitudinal relations between children's exposure to TV violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood: 1977-1992. Dev Psychol, 39(2), 201-221.
  12. ^ Michael, R., David, B., Shimrit, K., Parul, A., Carl de, M., & Lydia, S. (2007). Measuring youth media exposure (MYME): A pilot study. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 40(2), S5-S6.
  13. ^ Rich, M., Lamola, S., Gordon, J., & Chalfen, R. (2000). Video intervention/prevention assessment: a patient-centered methodology for understanding the adolescent illness experience. J Adolesc Health, 27(3), 155-165.
  14. ^ Rich, M., & King, B. E. (2008). Center on Media and Child Health: Scientific evolution responding to technological revolution. Journal of Children and Media 2(2),183-188.
  15. ^ Bickham, D. S. and M. Rich (2006). Is television viewing associated with social isolation?: Roles of exposure time, viewing context, and violent content. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine,160(4), 387-392.
  16. ^ Rich, M., & Bar-on, M. (2001). Child health in the information age: Media education of pediatricians. Pediatrics, 107(1),156-162.

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