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.

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
Read the full article at Children's Hospital Boston.

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
Read the full article at National Institure for Health Care Management.

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.'”

Read the full article at The Edge.

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
Read the full article at National Public Radio.

Call for Better Music Rating Labels

by American Academy of Pediatrics | AAP News | November 1, 2002

“Several members of the US House of Representatives joined the American Academy of Pediatrics in urging the music
industry to offer more information in the parental advisory label that appears on recordings with explicit content.”

Dr. Michael Rich
, a member of the AAP Committee on Public Education who testified for the Academy, commented “As a pediatrician who specializes in adolescent medicine, I am keenly aware of how crucial
music is to a teen’s identity, and how it helps them define important social and interpersonal behaviors.
In fact, one study showed that 24% of high school students ranked popular music as one of their top three sources
for guidance on social interaction.”

Dr. Rich continued, “The current system of parental advisory labels provides inadequate information for parents to make appropriate choices for their children.
To disclose the content of their product is not a violation of rights, but truth in advertising.”
Read the full article at AAP News.