Young Ears Can Be Tainted By Rap Music

by Wendi C. Thomas | Greater Memphis Commercial Appeal | February 15, 2005

Most adults who have listened to rap lyrics would probably agree that a heavy diet of sexually explicit and violent rap music is bad for kids. If you don’t agree that these songs are bad for their minds, you may want to know that there are health
consequences as well.


“What we’re seeing is that girls who watch more rap music videos have more STDs and have more sexual partners
compared to girls who have little exposure to those videos,” says Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, citing an Emory University study. “Does that mean the rap videos did it to them?” Rich asks. “No. But it does mean they’re associated, much like lead exposure in children is linked to lower IQs.”


“We have to deal with music the same way we deal with automobiles or tobacco. There are risks associated with using these products. We’re not saying they have to be taken off the market. We’re saying there are health implications,” Dr. Rich says.
Read the full article at Greater Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Techie Tots: Interactive vs. Interaction

by Stephanie Dunnewind | Seattle Times | December 11, 2004


With an onslaught of preschool video games on the market, parents and researchers wonder whether they’re the best way for children to be spending their time.

Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, says “The question parents need to ask is not ‘Is this more educational than Mickey Mouse?’ but ‘Is this more educational than other activities?'”



» See Full Story
Read the full article at Seattle Times.

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
Read the full article at Boston Globe.

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
Read the full article at Washington Post.

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.”

Read the full article at The Washington Times.

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.

See Full Story

Read the full article at Children's Hospital Boston.

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.”

» See citation in CMCH Database of Research
Read the full article at AAP News.