Sponsoring Organizers:

Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development
David Stewart,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Congress Committee:

Dimitri Christakis, Seattle Children's Research Institute
Elizabeth Englander, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center
Patricia Greenfield, Children’s Digital Media Center, UCLA
Carrie James, Project Zero, Harvard University
Larry Rosen, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Christopher Starr, Weill Cornell Medicine, Ophthalmology 
Melina Uncapher, University of California, San Francisco
Ellen Wartella, Northwestern University
Paul Weigle, Hartford Hospital

  • How is digital media enhancing and/or impairing children’s ability to live happy, healthy, and productive lives?
  • How are years of electronically mediated interactions shaping children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development?
  • What should we do about it?

In 2015, Children and Screens joined forces with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to convene nearly 200 of the most experienced researchers, scientists, and clinicians at the intersection of digital media and child development for a seminal three-day interdisciplinary conference to address those three questions. Since then, research into how digital media influence childhood development has progressed meaningfully. This rapid progress, though, has been outpaced by the digital media revolution families are facing. Toddlers, children and adolescents are immersed in media, and its influence on all aspects of their development cannot be overstated. This reality defines the research challenges and opportunities ahead of us. 

This year, Children and Screens and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are delighted to announce the 2nd national Digital Media and Developing Minds Congress, October 15-18, 2018 at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.  This conference will once again foster fruitful interaction and collaboration between researchers, clinicians and educators.  Speakers and panelists will evaluate the current state of scientific knowledge regarding how digital media influence child development at multiple ages and stages; outline directions for future study, and recommend interventions and solutions. The Congress will begin with dinner and the first session on the evening of Monday, October 15, 2018, and will conclude with lunch on Thursday, October 18.

Featured panels and keynote discussions (partial list):

  • Internet addiction and problematic use
  • Social media and depression
  • Early childhood and parenting
  • School shootings and media violence
  • Physical health
  • Emerging technologies

Confirmed speakers and panelists (partial list):

    Craig Anderson, Iowa State University
    Jakki Bailey, University of Texas, Austin
    Rachel Barr, Georgetown University
    Susanne Baumgartner, Amsterdam School of Communication Research
    Daphne Bavelier, University of Geneva, Switzerland
    Guilherme Borges, National Institute of Psychiatry Ramon de la Fuente Mexico City, Mexico
    Brad Bushman, The Ohio State University
    Sandra Calvert, Georgetown University
    Cordelia Carter, Yale University School of Medicine
    Hilarie Cash, reSTART
    Jason Chein, Temple University
    Dimitri Christakis, Seattle Children's Research Institute
    Sarah Coyne, Brigham Young University
    Zsolt Demetrovics, ELTE Eotvos Lorand University
    Elizabeth Englander, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center
    Dorothy Espelage, University of Florida
    Adam Gazzaley, University of California, San Francisco
    Douglas Gentile, Iowa State University
    James Griffin, NICHD
    Lauren Hale, Stony Brook University
    Richard Halverson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Tristan Harris, The Center for Humane Technology
    Carolyn Heinrich, Vanderbilt University
    Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, Temple University
    Thomas Joiner, Florida State University
    Anya Kamenetz, NPR
    Nicholas Kardaras, The Dunes
    Ethan Kross, University of Michigan
    Youngsam Koh, College of General Education, Tongmyong University, South Korea
    Monique LeBourgeois, University of Colorado Boulder
    Steve Lee, University of California Los Angeles
    Jennifer Manganello, SUNY Albany
    Richard McKeon, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    Mark Mon Williams, University of Leeds, UK
    Marc Potenza, Yale University
    Vicky Rideout, VJR Consulting
    Tom Robinson, Stanford University
    Larry Rosen, California State University, Dominguez Hills
    Hans-Juergen Rumpf, University of Luebeck, Germany
    Rachel Severson, University of Montana
    Lindsay Squeglia, Medical University of South Carolina
    Melina Uncapher, University of California, San Francisco
    Ellen Wartella, Northwestern University
    Emily Weinstein, Harvard University
    Paul Weigle, Hartford Hospital
    Klaus Woelfing, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet Mainz
    Michele Ybarra, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    Kimberly Young, Center for Internet Addiction Recovery; St. Bonaventure University
    Karla Zadnik, Ohio State University College of Optometry



Participants from academia, clinical practice, and research are welcome to submit abstracts in any of six major themes of the conference:

  • Cognition: Learning, Media Multitasking, Literacy, Attentional problems, Language Development/Communication, Executive Function, Creativity, Habits of Mind 
  • Social: Families, Parenting, Relationships, Social Competence, Stereotypes, Civic Engagement and Participatory Politics, Sexting
  • Emotional: Digital Addiction, Violent Content, Cyberbullying, Sexual Behavior, Anxiety and Depression
  • Behavioral: Sleep, Aggression, Risk Taking, Driving Safety, Play
  • Physical: Obesity, Activity, Vision Effects, Orthopedic Effects
  • Cross cutting topics: Privacy, Virtual/Augmented Reality and Emerging Technologies, Advertising, Social Media, Smart Phones, Screentime
Abstracts are due on August 10, and will be published in the program booklet distributed to all attendees.

A special EXPOSITION ON TOOLS AND METHODOLOGIES will:

  • Highlight successes and challenges of the latest tools being utilized to study media's impact on toddlers, children and adolescents.
  • Explore advances in audio and video monitoring and wireless communications, natural language processing, software and data analytics available to the research community.
  • Examine data mining of large data sets, data access and integration
  • Discuss data sharing, public access and open source platforms
  • Develop evidence-based pediatric media health screening protocols
The exposition will culminate in the development of tools and methodologies white papers, which will be published in a journal supplement following the conference.


Selection of material for oral and poster presentations will be made by the organizing committees. The status of abstracts (i.e., talk or poster) will be posted as soon as decisions have been made by the organizers. Please bring this announcement to the attention of any of your colleagues who may be interested in participating in the congress.

All questions pertaining to registration, fees, housing, meals, transportation, visas, abstract submission or any other matters should be directed to Catie Carr at carr@cshl.edu.

We look forward to seeing you at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in October 2018.

Registration Pricing:
  • Academic Package $1190
  • Graduate/PhD Student Package $1000 *see below for more information about financial assistance*
  • Corporate Package $1505
  • Academic/Student No-Housing Package $815
  • Corporate No-Housing Package $1015

Regular Academic, Graduate/PhD student, and Corporate packages are all-inclusive and cover registration, food, housing, parking, a wine-and-cheese party, cocktail reception, and lobster banquet. No-Housing packages include all costs except housing. Full payment is due four weeks prior to the meeting.

Accommodation for this conference will be single occupancy, with private or shared bathroom. Depending on demand, some graduate student accommodation will be double occupancy, with single accommodation preferentially assigned to students paying the full graduate student rate. Please disregard information related to double occupancy accommodations referenced under the information tab. 

Register here or click the "Register" tab at the top of the page.

*Children and Screens and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are eager to have as many young people as possible attend this meeting. As such, we have some funds set aside to partially support students and postdocs. Please register and apply in writing to Catie Carr at carr@cshl.edu stating your eligibility and need for financial support. Preference will be given to those submitting abstracts.