Statement on House Bill That Would Require Federal Funding To Research the Effects of Technology on Kids’ Mental Health
The House of Representatives have taken a major step to advance our understanding of the impact that digital media and technology has on the health and development of children and teenagers, a longstanding top priority of Common Sense Media. The House approved major mental health legislation yesterday which includes the Children and Media Research Advancement Act (CAMRA). This bill requires the National Institute of Health to conduct a five-year research study on the impact of the use of digital media and technology on the cognitive, physical and social emotional health of children and teens. Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, issued the following statement upon the bill’s passage.
“There's a serious youth mental health crisis in this country and it is long overdue to examine technology’s role in it. For years Common Sense has been a vocal proponent of CAMRA to fund this critical research. In a time where digital devices are a child's constant companion, we need good, quality, longitudinal research to make sure we are doing everything necessary to protect kids' well being in online spaces.
“Our research shows that teens with mental health challenges are much more at risk for unhealthy behavior online. This legislation would give parents, educators, pediatricians and policymakers the information needed to take an evidenced-based approach when it comes to creating safeguards for kids online. Understanding how technology impacts a child’s development over time will help us harness the good technology has to offer and minimize its harms.
“Thank you to Representatives Jaime Raskin, Anthony Gonzalez, and Jim McGovern for your work on CAMRA and to Chairman Frank Pallone and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers for including it as part of their important mental health legislative package. This is an important step forward in protecting the health and wellbeing of American kids and families. We look forward to the Senate passing this bill in their mental health legislation very soon.”
Learn more about CAMRA here.
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Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.