About Us

The Center on Media and Human Development in the School of Communication at Northwestern University is directed by Dr. Ellen Wartella. The Center on Media and Human Development was created with three primary goals: training, research, and public policy outreach. The Center is dedicated to training future researchers to conduct research in the field of human development and media. Postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers will work together to explore a variety of research questions including:

– How are teachers using media technologies in their early childhood classrooms?
– How do parents and teachers interact with their children around and with media technologies including computers, television, and other newer technologies like iPhones and iPads?
– How do parents and teachers differ in their attitudes and opinions about their children’s use of, behavior around, and attitudes toward different media technologies both in the United States and abroad?
– What role does marketing and advertising play on the health of youth in the United States especially with regard to the newer digital technologies children are using?
– How can digital technologies be used to improve the lives of children with regards to education, health, and social and emotional development?

In addition to research, the Center on Media and Human Development recognizes the interdisciplinary world we live in and the importance of teamwork and collaboration in the field of children and media. As such, the third goal of the Center is to collaborate and communicate with others through workshops, round-table discussions, and conferences in order to inform and influence public policy.