Rona Zlokower

Quarter 1 Update

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

The study objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of Media Power Youth’s in-school curriculum, Screenshots, in shaping students’ beliefs on media usage and the skills and behaviors that contribute to positive social experiences:

  • Aim 1: Evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum in cultivating responsible and empathic digital behaviors in three areas that contribute to healthy relationships and mental wellness: Digital Citizenship, Online Conflict Resolution, and Social Media and Substance Use.
  • Aim 2: Determine the extent to which the effectiveness of the curriculum varies across demographic and attitudinal groups, including gender, age, perceived personal relevance, and content responsiveness.

2. What excites you about the funded project?

We are excited about being part of a national research community that is advancing our society’s understanding of how technology impacts mental wellness. This project will enable MPY to offer a wider assortment of evidence-based resources to families, teachers, and community-based organizations. David Bickham, our co-investigator, said: “It’s extremely fulfilling to be part of a project that moves my research from documenting the risks of technology to one that maximizes its potential. The Screenshots curriculum represents an opportunity to demonstrate that young people are not powerless against media-based forces and that school-based educational programs can enhance the beliefs and skills necessary to lead positive and healthy, online lives.”

3. Tell us more about your team!

Our team is a collaboration between a media literacy educational nonprofit organization, Media Power Youth, and an academic research center, Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Rona Zlokower (Principal Investigator): Rona is the founder of Media Power Youth and a passionate advocate for public health initiatives. She enjoys gardening, yoga, and soup making – now that fall has arrived in New Hampshire.

Heather Inyart (Executive Director, MPY): Heather leads Media Power Youth in its mission to provide media literacy education to children, parents, and youth-serving professionals. She enjoys hands-on, creative projects including knitting and painting where she can play with color and texture to make something new.

David Bickham (Co-Investigator, CMCH): David’s research examines the impact of media use on the health and well-being of adolescents. David’s favorite tech-free activity is playing strategy board games, such as Viticulture, Pandemic Legacy, and Wingspan.