The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has launched a new organization focused on children and their engagement with the digital landscape called the Center of Excellence: Creating a Healthy Digital Ecosystem for Children and Youth. AAP selected Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, vice chair of academic affairs and professor and chief, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, to serve as co-medical director of the center. The other co-medical director is Jenny Radesky, MD, a pediatrician with University of Michigan Health. Moreno will focus her efforts on adolescent health, and Radesky will focus her efforts on younger children.
Moreno, a recognized national expert, described the center as a national source for evidence-based education and technical assistance in support of children’s and adolescents’ mental health as they engage with social media.
With her research group, Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT), Moreno has closely examined the effects of technology on adolescent health. SMARHT has produced the largest body of research data about social media and adolescent health. “Growing evidence has established both risks and benefits to social media use,” Moreno said. “Imbalances in these risks and benefits can harm mental health, exacerbate existing health disparities and compound systemic inequities for youth.”
Selected media coverage
“UW Health doctor helps lead research on risks, benefits of kids using social media” aired on WBAY/ABC2 on September 15, 2022.
“Madison doctor to lead national research center on youth social media use” aired on WMTV/NBC15 on September 15, 2022.
A news segment about the new center aired on WREX/NBC13 on September 15, 2022.