University of Wisconsin–Madison

Associate Professor Rebekah Willett studies the complexities of screen time in families

Associate Professor Rebekah Willett’s research on children’s media and technology use couldn’t come at a better time than during the COVID-19 shutdown. Now more than ever, young children are using screens and digital technologies to learn, visit with friends, and find entertainment. Before technology became even more prevalent than it is now, Willett was already conducting research on how parents and young children deal with increasing exposure to digital media.

Willett addresses several core issues in her line of research. Parents can struggle to strike a balance between allowing access for schoolwork and developing digital literacy skills without compromising their children’s privacy and safety. Families often find it difficult to follow standard guidelines on appropriate screen times and allowances according to their individual circumstances and needs. Willett lays out the complexities of children’s media culture with these issues in mind so that readers can see how societal norms regarding technology use impact families differently. Read more about this research from Willett herself in the article published by the Wisconsin State Journal, “Righting the screen time ship”.