38 episodes

Join Delaney Ruston, MD, a leading authority on parenting in the digital age and the filmmaker of the award-winning Screenagers movies, as she explores strategies for raising screen-wise and tech-balanced youth. Through interviews with researchers, thought leaders, and young people themselves, The Screenagers Podcast delivers the latest in science along with practical tips and important insights that parents will want to share with their kids and teens.

The Screenagers Podcast Delaney Ruston, MD

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.7 • 118 Ratings

Join Delaney Ruston, MD, a leading authority on parenting in the digital age and the filmmaker of the award-winning Screenagers movies, as she explores strategies for raising screen-wise and tech-balanced youth. Through interviews with researchers, thought leaders, and young people themselves, The Screenagers Podcast delivers the latest in science along with practical tips and important insights that parents will want to share with their kids and teens.

    Instagram Unfiltered: Teens Tell All

    Instagram Unfiltered: Teens Tell All

    In this episode of the Screenagers podcast, Dr Ruston talks with three teen girls from middle school, high school, and college about their experiences, both good and bad, with Instagram. They discuss why they joined the platform, how they use it, and the types of content they see, including ads and influencer posts. The conversation delves into the emotional impact of social media, including issues of comparison, curated posts, and the prevalence of ads. In addition, they touch on issues of subliminal messaging and the risks and benefits of posting about one’s true emotional state. This episode is intended for adult and youth audiences.
    Time Code
    00:00 Introduction to the Screenagers Podcast
    01:20 Meet the Teen Guests
    02:31 First Impressions of Instagram
    04:54 The Allure and Pitfalls of Instagram
    09:16 Ads and Influencers: A Deep Dive
    13:10 The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health
    22:35 Likes, Comments, and Posting Etiquette
    27:18 Final Thoughts and Farewell
     

    • 29 min
    From Junk Food to Social Media: How Teens Get Manipulated

    From Junk Food to Social Media: How Teens Get Manipulated

    How do we get our kids to make healthier choices when it comes to resisting junk food, smoking, or social media? In today’s podcast episode, Dr. Ruston talks with David Yeager, a leading researcher in the science of youth behavior change, motivation, and the power of mindsets, which are essentially our beliefs.
    Yeager studies show what happens when youth — who don’t like to be manipulated —  are taught about companies’ manipulative tactics.
    This episode also features segments from our movie, Screenagers Under the Influence, which address the impacts of deceptive marketing by e-cigarette companies like Juul. This episode is intended for adult and youth audiences. 

    Featured Expert
    David Yeager, PhD
     
    Research References
    Harnessing adolescent values to reduce unhealthy Snacking (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America)
    Values-Alignment Messaging Boosts Adolescents' Motivation to Control Social Media Use (Child Development)
     
    Additional links
    Book: "10 to 25, The Science of Motivating Young People," by David S. Yaeger
    ‍Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising 
    Robert Jackler, MD
    Movie: Screenagers Under The Influence
    The Influence of the National truth® Campaign on Smoking Initiation
     
    Time code
    00:00 Introduction to Screenagers Podcast
    00:36 The Art and Science of Communicating with Teens
    01:22 Interview with Researcher David Yeager
    02:26 Screenagers Under the Influence: Vaping and Juul
    06:44 The Junk Food Industry's Manipulative Tactics
    19:04 Impact of Anti-Smoking Campaigns
    21:56 Conclusion and Call to Action
     

    • 22 min
    How Our Own Trauma Impacts Our Parenting

    How Our Own Trauma Impacts Our Parenting

    How can the big and little “t” traumas parents have experienced in their lives negatively impact their parenting around screen time? In this episode, Dr Ruston engages in a profound conversation with therapist Dr. David Johnson, who was the CEO of one of Seattle’s leading mental health providers, Navos, and has 48 years of experience in individual and family therapy. Dr. Johnson provides a unique perspective on common ways past traumas show up in parent-child struggles, whether over video gaming, social media, or other areas.  Dr. Ruston courageously opens up about how some of her past traumas impacted her parenting. Throughout the episode, Delaney and David offer listeners many strategies to help prevent their past adversities from sabotaging their current parenting efforts. This episode is intended for adult audiences.
     
    Featured Expert
    David Johnson Ed.D LMHC
     
    Show Notes:
    00:00 Introduction: The Impact of Parental Trauma on Parenting
    01:16 Meet Dr. David Johnson: Insights on Trauma and Parenting
    02:10 Understanding Trauma: Definitions and Effects
    04:57 Trauma Responses and Their Impact on Behavior
    08:15 Screen Time Conflicts: Analyzing Parental Reactions
    10:41 The Power of Insight and Intention in Overcoming Trauma
    27:58 Family Dynamics and Counseling: Strategies for Healing
    30:32 Conclusion and Invitation to Engage

    • 31 min
    Jonathan Haidt Explains the Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Jonathan Haidt Explains the Youth Mental Health Crisis

    Is social media, smartphones, and the sheer amount of time that young people are on screens really the main reason for the rise in mental health problems of today’s youth? On today’s episode, we delve into this pressing issue with Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, and author of the current New York Times bestselling book, "The Anxious Generation". His insights provide a clear and compelling explanation of why this indeed is likely the case. Beyond just correlational studies, what do actual experiments show us about the link between teen mental health and screen time? Why is the time of puberty particularly concerning when it comes to handing over smartphones and social media? Why does social media seem to impact girls more negatively than boys? These are just some of the questions that today’s episode addresses. In addition, Haidt offers two solutions for improving teen mental health. This episode is not just for adults but also for teens who are directly affected by these issues. Of note, suicidal ideation is mentioned briefly in the episode. 
    Featured Expert
    Jonathan Haidt, PhD
    Research References
    Links to research discussed in the episode
    Additional Links 
    The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt
    Time Code
    00:00 Introduction to The Screenagers Podcast
    00:23 Meet Jonathan Haidt, Author and Social Psychologist
    01:29 The Anxious Generation: Key Insights
    02:06 Impact of Social Media on Mental Health
    03:52 Gender Differences in Mental Health Trends
    05:57 Correlational and Experimental Studies on Screen Time
    09:04 The Natural Experiment of Facebook's Rollout
    12:31 The Hidden Dangers of Social Media
    16:59 Aggression and Social Cruelty Online
    19:25 Proposed Solutions and Parental Involvement
    21:21 Conclusion and Resources

    • 22 min
    How Media Is Fueling A Risky Sexual Practice Among Teens

    How Media Is Fueling A Risky Sexual Practice Among Teens

    In today’s episode, Dr. Delaney Ruston talks with author Peggy Orenstein about a media-fueled risky sexual practice that is happening among some teens today — choking, also called sexual strangulation. Orenstein, who has spent many years researching sexuality among youth for her books “Girls and Sex” and “Boys and Sex,” investigated the topic of sexual choking for a New York Times article that was published last month. Today, Orenstein shares some of her findings from that investigation, including the influence of pornography and other media on this new trend.  What are the psychological and physical risks of this practice? And what are ways to have productive conversations with young people on this and related topics? This episode also includes a 19-year-old discussing her concerns about sexual choking. This episode is intended for adult audiences. 
    Featured Expert
    Peggy Orenstein
    Research References
    The Troubling Trend in Teen Sex -New York Times Article by Peggy Orenstein
    What is rough sex, who does it, and who likes it? Findings from a probability sample of US undergraduate students (Archives of Sexual Behavior)
    Additional Links 
    Yes Your Kid: What Parents Need to Know about Today’s Teens and Sex, by Debby Herbenick
    Sex, Teens, and Everything in Between,  by Shafia Zaloum
    Want Me by Tracy, by Clark Flory
    Girls and Sex, by Peggy Orenstein 
    Boys and Sex, by Peggy Orenstein
    Time Code
    00:00 Introduction to the Screenagers Podcast
    00:17 The Shocking Reality of Choking in Sexual Encounters Among Youth
    01:18 Mainstream Media's Role in Normalizing BDSM and Choking
    02:02 Insightful Conversation with Peggy Ornstein on Sexual Strangulation
    05:42 The Alarming Data on Choking Among College Students
    07:42 The Influence of Media and Social Media on Sexual Behavior
    13:24 Addressing the Risks and How to Talk About Them
    20:56 Empowering Youth to Speak Out and Advocate for Safety
    24:12 Concluding Thoughts and Resources for Challenging Conversations

    • 26 min
    Screen Time Parenting With Positive Discipline

    Screen Time Parenting With Positive Discipline

    In today’s episode, Dr. Delaney Ruston talks with Casey O’Roarty, Med., who is a well-recognized expert in Positive Discipline, particularly when it comes to tweens and teens. She is the author of Joyful Courage and the host of the Joyful Courage podcast and has spent over 15 years working with families. In this episode, Casey provides real-life anecdotes about when kids sneak screen time when they have meltdowns and other behaviors, and she explores fostering curiosity, addressing meltdowns, and finding the delicate balance between having firmness while fostering a strong parent-child relationship.  In addition, another guest, a mother of three kids,  shares her experience with ditching her old parenting ways to adopt the Positive Discipline approach.
    Show Notes
    Casey O’Roarty’s website
     

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
118 Ratings

118 Ratings

Elwood Brewster ,

Practical guidance

Not just good information, but practical - including the advice that parenting fails when you tell teens what to do, as opposed to including them in decision-making, or guiding them to make their own good decisions.

Vernon Heights ,

So helpful!

I’m not a parent or a teen and I still find this podcast so helpful in considering the impact of tech on our lives and strategies for all kinds of relationships (with myself, my screens, and my loved ones). The Love Ambush episode was an especially poignant reminder about the power of community care when someone is struggling.

vndydjfjf ,

Too much background noise!

The content is very good- but the background noise is very disturbing!!

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