CMN 147: Children, Adolescents and the Media

Research on the adaptive and maladaptive effects of media (e.g., television, movies, video games, social media) on the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of youth, considering the protective role of parents, teachers, ethics and policy.

CMN 147

Drew Cingel






Varies, but offered at least once a year


The study of media consumption and effects has a long history. Much of this work, however, focuses on adult or young adult samples. In this class, we will learn that children and adolescents are special populations to consider, and that a child’s level of development influences their media selections and media effects.
Over the course of the quarter, students will better understand how cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development influence our media choices and the effects of those media choices. Specifically, we will examine how media can influence a child’s sleep, theory of mind, executive functions, vocabulary development, moral development, and social behavior, among others. Students are asked to consider their own childhood, and compare and contrast their experience growing up to that of contemporary children and adolescents.

Course Objectives:
Students who take this course will be able to:

  1. Describe the use and effects of media on children and adolescents while considering their developmental level
  2. Describe relevant developmental and communication theories, as well as research methods in the field of children, adolescents, and the media
  3. Consider the potential theoretical implications of research that demonstrates an understanding of how we can connect human development with media use. 
  4. Consider practical implications of research on children and media, and how we can enact policy changes to promote healthy development among children and adolescents
  5. Apply course concepts to daily life, including students’ interactions with the young people in their lives