Seattle Children’s Dimitri Christakis has devoted his career to investigating how media exposure impacts children and helping parents take control of their family’s media habits.
“My research is focused on developing pragmatic, actionable strategies for parents,” says Dr. Christakis, who directs the Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development. “I like to think of it as a media diet. In much the same way we recognize that eating is essential to life but has to be done appropriately, media is very much a part of all of our lives — the real research agenda is to find out how to use it in healthy ways.
For example, we ask parents to substitute quality programming for violent programming, much like they’d swap carrots for potato chips in their child’s lunch.”