CDMCLA began in 2001 as part of a consortium funded for 10 years by the National Science Foundation. From 2011 through 2022, it became a collaborative effort between faculty, students, and visiting researchers in the Departments of Psychology at UCLA and CSULA.
Throughout the first 22 years, our mission was to study children, teens, and emerging adults’ interaction with the newer forms of interactive digital media and to see how these interactions both affect and reflect offline lives and long-term development. We always endeavored to keep up with the latest technologies used by young people.
While we are still true to our beginnings, our mission has broadened in four ways:
- Applications in the real world: Dr. Yalda Uhls, Associate Director of CDMC founded the Center for Scholars and Storytellers with a mission to bring developmental research to the creators of media consumed by young people.
- Concern with parents’ use of digital media and its effect on children: Notable example: Dr. Uhls’ book, Media Moms, Digital Dads.
- 3. Analyses of media effects on human development, more broadly conceived – adults as well as children and adolescents. Brown and Greenfield’s study on the effects on well-being of digital media use during the pandemic falls into this category, as do our collaborative studies on the role of media in sociocultural change in Israel, Mexico, and Romania.
- Internet as a platform to study spontaneous behavior – big data studies on the effects of the pandemic on culture and behavior.