Yalda Uhls

Below are excerpts from this grantee’s quarterly reports.

Year 2, Quarter 2

Briefly restate the specific aims or objectives associated with this project.

Research Aim: How canprogram-related, second screen content (like in the photo below) support adolescents’ conversations & improve mental health?

Sample: Diverse groups of 13-17-year-olds

Phase 1 –Focus groups: Exploring how tweens and teens naturally interact with program-related, second screen content

Summarize what was accomplished with regard to these aims in the present quarter.

This quarter we continued our efforts to recruit Black teens for our focus groups but were not successful. We are now moving into the next phase of the study and are choosing the TV show that we will ask teens to watch. We also are developing our survey and determining what kind of second screen content we want to create. We will need to go back to UCLA IRB with an amendment once we answer these questions and prepare our materials.

Year 2, Quarter 1

Summarize what was accomplished with regard to these aims in the present quarter.

We received our IRB for phase 1. We are currently conducting focus groups with 19 teens from across the country. We are reviewing that data and the accompanying survey we had participants take. We had trouble recruiting Black teens and are looking now to recruit specifically Black teens 13-17 so that our sample is more representative.


Quarter 4

Briefly restate the specific aims or objectives associated with this project

Aim 1: Study how a popular teen-facing TV show impacts adolescent mental wellness

Aim 2: Learn what adolescents are discussing online with respect to mental wellness

Aim 3: Support adolescent mental wellness around topics within the show

 Tell us about your efforts to reach a range of audiences and maximize impact through dissemination and implementation.

We are planning on releasing a report for industry at the end of the year. At that point we will also set a series of meetings with industry leaders to share the results. We have been asked to present at Disney Channel on a variety of topics, and our goal is to include mental health representation as a new key topic for workshops and learning in 2021. We may throw an event with the Writers Guild of America. We now have many methods for dissemination and we will take full advantage of all of them – livestreams, articles, events, social media, etc.

Quarter 3

Briefly summarize (3-5 sentences) what was accomplished with regard to these aims in the present quarter.

We have asked our social listening group to collect more data for us to try to better understand how what was going on on Twitter may have related to [13 Reasons Why] and the conversations about mental health. We are designing a follow up to experimentally study how to use the second screen to support adolescent mental wellness around this show or another show targeted to teens.

Products: Tell us about the products or deliverables associated with your project.

We will create a short report, targeted to the entertainment industry. We have been also offered the opportunity to share our findings with many talent agencies and entertainment studios at their “lunch and learns.” We are planning on building out a list of takeaways for content creators that we will aggressively share.

Quarter 2

Briefly summarize (3-5 sentences) what was accomplished with regard to these aims in the present quarter.

We received the data from our recruiting partner on our pre and post survey of adolescents who watched 13 Reasons Why and the Control. We have 159 completed surveys. We are writing up an industry facing report on what adolescents were discussing on Twitter, one week after the show, about key topics during Season 1, 2 and 3 of 13 Reasons Why. We have also shot several videos around teenage sexual health with peer educators from Planned Parenthood. These videos are meant to demonstrate the value of accurate information with respect to adolescent sexual health.

Tell us about problems encountered, changes to your approach, and reasons behind these changes.

We are starting to analyze the data we received from wave 1 and 2 of our survey. It looks like some participants in the experimental group did not watch the entire season of the show, which may end up hurting our statistical power. Unfortunately, it is always difficult with adolescents to reach full compliance. With this experiment being conducted in the field, it may have been too much to expect. We will have more to report next quarter.

Finally, we were hoping that we could make some kind of correlational claim with our social listening data. However, after considering several options, we could not determine the best ways to reliably measure other variables that might relate with the online conversation. Nevertheless, we believe we have enough data to tell a compelling story to industry about ways they may have undercut their own goals for viewership by releasing Season One without any resources for adolescents as this may have hurt Season Two’s ratings.

Quarter 1

Tell us what excites you about the funded project.

I’m excited about providing experimental evidence about the ways 13 Reasons Why impacts adolescent mental health. And about finding an innovative way to bridge the work of the entertainment industry and scientific researchers to support adolescent wellness.

Tell us more about your team!

We are working with the general manager of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls to create a campaign. They created another video for us that got 140K views and over 50 comments on Instagram alone!