Alexis R. Lauricella

Alexis R. Lauricella
Northwestern University | NU · Department of Communication Studies

PhD, MPP

About

60
Publications
41,706
Reads
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2,409
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
Northwestern University
Position
  • Managing Director
September 2013 - present
Northwestern University
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Research Methods; Children's Culture
August 2010 - present
Northwestern University
Position
  • Research Associate & Lecturer
Education
September 2005 - May 2010
Georgetown University
Field of study
  • Psychology
August 2005 - May 2007
Georgetown University
Field of study
  • Public Policy
September 2000 - May 2004
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Field of study
  • Marketing & Psychology

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
One particularly exciting platform with the potential to teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in early childhood classrooms is the tablet. However, one challenge in using these devices for STEM learning is that traditional tablets lack important sensory information. The emerging technology of haptic (or tactile) feedback touch-sc...
Article
Full-text available
Early introduction to science and math encourages interest and learning in these subjects later in life. As children’s first teachers, parents can expose their children to informal science and math learning activities before they enter formal schooling. It is important to understand how parents engage in science and math activities with their young...
Article
Full-text available
Gender and racial diversity in STEM has been deemed an essential need for a sustainable future, but girls and children from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds continue to show less interest in STEM than their White and male counterparts. Media has been shown to reflect children’s occupational schema from an early age, and therefore might be...
Article
Technology use in elementary school classrooms is growing in frequency as school districts adopt higher rates of technology ownership per student. With increased access, it is critical to examine both teachers’ intentions and the actual use of technology in their classroom environment. This qualitative study uses interviews to examine teachers’ int...
Article
Mobile technology devices continue to develop and change, creating increased opportunity for use by children. However, parents remain wary of screen time and question the benefits of using these devices for teaching specific content (e.g., science, technology, engineering, and math—STEM). Parent attitudes can play a very powerful role in children's...
Article
There has been a recent increase in television programming that aims to provide realistic portrayals of adolescent life in an effort to both entertain and educate adolescent viewers. Research on this entertainment-education programming has examined the effects on adolescent viewers; however, it has not considered the relationship between parent vie...
Article
Full-text available
A number of recent series airing on traditional and streaming platforms portray sensitive topics faced by adolescents, including depression and suicide. Research has suggested that these subjects may be difficult for parents and adolescents to discuss, given their stigmatized nature. It is possible, however, that series portraying these issues in a...
Article
Full-text available
With increasing media choice, particularly through the rise of streaming services, it has become more important for empirical research to examine how youth decide which programs to view, particularly when the content focuses on difficult health topics such as suicide. The present study investigated why adolescents and young adults chose to view or...
Article
Full-text available
The research on children’s learning of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics from electronic applications (apps) is limited, though it appears that children can reasonably transfer learning from tablet games to particular tasks. We were interested to determine whether these findings would translate to the emerging technology of h...
Article
Full-text available
Character portrayals are important to consider when investigating the effects of educational television on young viewers. When it comes to academic interests and career aspirations, children take cues from the media representations around them. This study is a content analysis of STEM-focused children’s television shows, with attention to gender an...
Article
As technology access and use increases in early childhood classrooms and at home, there is an increased need to support students’ understanding of how to be safe, responsible, and cooperative digital media users. While teaching media literacy, in education has some historical context, it is only relatively recently that school districts have expand...
Article
Full-text available
Children and adolescents are frequent media users and research regularly examines the consequences of such use. This research, however, often does not examine parental factors relating to youth media use. Framed by Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, this study examines the role of media in the child’s ecological system by describing how pa...
Article
Media programing addressing controversial topics among youth has grown; however, research has yet to consider the correlates of viewing on a global scale. Using the theory of normative social behavior (TNSB), this study examined perceived norms about mental illness among a sample of 3,520 adolescent and young adult viewers and nonviewers of 13 Reas...
Article
Research suggests that children can learn educational concepts from well-designed applications (apps), including foundational science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts. Parents may be important for promoting children's STEM learning from touchscreen apps, as parents can help their children learn from other media. However, little re...
Conference Paper
This paper explores how parents identify and use science and math media to engage their preschool children in informal science and math learning. Through an interview study, we examine parental beliefs about media's role in their preschool-aged children's science and math learning. We report how parents approach finding and incorporating different...
Article
Purpose Social cognitive theory suggests that children may have more favorable attitudes toward food products promoted by media characters who are similar to them, in terms of factors such as age, gender and race-ethnicity. This paper aims to profile the characters in food and beverage websites and apps for children and examine whether the healthf...
Article
Research on language development suggests that children from low-income families hear nearly 30 million words less than their higher income counterparts (Hart & Risley, 1999). This paper explores parent perceptions and attitudes toward two mobile interventions (Text4baby and Univision Contigo) designed to support parents’ engagement with their youn...
Article
Children’s learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is important for their achievement in related fields. Before formal schooling, families can expose children to STEM by sharing knowledge and influencing children’s use of learning tools, including media. We investigated whether parent attitudes towards STEM media and ha...
Article
Despite the growing number of digital apps designed to teach coding skills to young children, we know little about their effectiveness. To formally explore this question, we conducted a naturalistic observation of a one-week program designed to teach foundational coding skills (i.e., sequencing, conditions, loops) to young children (N = 28, Mage =...
Article
Full-text available
Learning basic information about puberty and human reproduction can alleviate concerns about the transition to adolescence and provide a foundation for later learning about more advanced reproductive health topics, such as family planning. Parents and children alike believe educational videos make these topics more engaging, and socio-cultural theo...
Chapter
The rise of mobile media over recent years has brought promise and potential for children’s learning and development. With new—and often highly interactive—ways for children to engage with digital media and technology, as well as the ability to engage anywhere at anytime, mobile media is providing new and different opportunities unavailable with pr...
Chapter
Full-text available
Television and computers have been related to aspects of mental health, especially for children and adolescents. In this article, we discuss ways in which media have been indirectly implicated in mental health such as the links between food marketing and obesity, violence and aggression, and prosocial behavior and the role these have on mental heal...
Article
Full-text available
Content analyses sway policy by describing the prevalence of mass media messages and implying effects. However, content-based research focusing ondynamic new media products such as websites, mobile applications, and video games presents methodological challenges. Our team recently conducted a large-scale content analysis exploring food marketing to...
Article
Full-text available
In the age of digital technology, as teens seem to be constantly connected online, via social media, and through mobile applications, it is no surprise that they increasingly turn to digital media to answer their health questions. This study is the first of its kind to survey a large, nationally-representative sample of teens to investigate how the...
Article
Basic knowledge of human reproduction can help youth prepare for puberty and make later classes focused on advanced reproductive health topics manageable. With the intention of potentially informing the creation of learning materials, we conducted a needs assessment among children ages 7 to 12 in our suburban Chicago community to ascertain their cu...
Article
Tablet computers are increasingly becoming commonplace in classrooms around the world. More than half of early childhood educators in the U.S. now have access to tablets, making it imperative to understand how they are using the device and what influences such use. The current study draws on survey data from 411 preschool educators serving 3- to 5-...
Article
This article urges children and media scholars to consider the broader consequences of the ubiquitous media environment in which children live today. We consider, within a broader sociocultural context, the ways in which media and interactive technology serve as more knowledgeable others, scaffolding children's learning and development. Given this...
Article
Many children are spending more time with screen media than has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. There is evidence that parent television use is associated with higher levels of child television time, but we know little about what predicts children's media use with other technology. Using a nationally representative sample of...
Article
Full-text available
Recent policy recommendations encourage parents to co-use media technology with their young children. However, we know little about what factors predict parents' co-use across the multiple types of media technology families own. Using a US nationally representative sample of 2,326 parents of children aged 8 and under, this study examines factors as...
Article
Full-text available
Head Start emphasises parent engagement as a critical strategy in promoting children's long-term learning. Parents can support children's positive development by engaging them in stimulating activities. The following study assessed whether a service that delivered parenting tips via text message could prompt parents of children enrolled in Head Sta...
Article
Many children are spending more time with screen media than has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. There is evidence that parent television use is associated with higher levels of child television time, but we know little about what predicts children's media use with other technology. Using a nationally representative sample of...
Article
Full-text available
The relatively recent invention of mobile tablets has changed the way children and adolescents use media technologies. Given that children and adolescents differ developmentally, we use Uses and Gratifications theory to explore ownership of mobile devices by young people and how children and adolescents use newer media technologies, including the I...
Article
The current study uses path modeling to investigate the relationship between extrinsic and intrinsic factors that influence early childhood educators' digital technology use. Survey data from 1234 early childhood educators indicate that attitudes toward the value of technology to aid children's learning have the strongest effect on technology use,...
Chapter
Communicating basic health information to children is often a difficult task. For young children this is particularly challenging since they know very little about their bodies and they struggle to comprehend abstract or hypothetical reasoning. As children get older, they know more about their bodies and health but communicating about complex medic...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine how parents and children interact during traditional and computer storybook reading in their home. Thirty-nine, 4-year old children read both a traditional and a computer storybook with a parent. Parent responsiveness and child verbalizations were coded during each type of book reading experience (traditiona...
Article
Full-text available
Given adolescents' heavy social media use, this study examined a number of predictors of adolescent social media use, as well as predictors of online communication practices. Using data collected from a national sample of 467 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, results indicate that demographics, technology access, and technology ownership a...
Article
Full-text available
Given adolescents' heavy social media use, this study examined a number of predictors of adolescent social media use, as well as predictors of online communication practices. Using data collected from a national sample of 467 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, results indicate that demographics, technology access, and technology ownership a...
Article
The Internet is quickly becoming a favored medium for children, but few studies have investigated the content and types of activities children engage with online. The current study uses data collected from a national sample of 442 8- to 12-year-old children to investigate children’s Internet content prefer- ences during middle childhood. Results in...
Article
Very young children have difficulty transferring what they view onscreen to their offscreen worlds. This study examined whether familiarizing toddlers with a character would improve toddlers' performance on a subsequent seriation task. Toddlers were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) a familiarized character condition where toddlers...
Article
Given adolescents’ heavy social media use, this study examined a number of predictors of adolescent social media use, as well as predictors of online communication practices. Using data collected from a national sample of 467 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, results indicate that demographics, technology access, and technology ownership a...
Article
Should babies be watching television and DVDs? This is a reasonable question to ask but a difficult one to answer. This article reviews the theories and related research to examine what is known about infant media use. The review provides evidence both for and against each theory. The importance of infants learning how to watch and learn from scree...
Article
Full-text available
Toddlers' performance on a seriation sequencing task was measured after exposure to a video as a function of the social meaningfulness of the character. Forty eight 21-month-old toddlers were randomly assigned to a socially meaningful character video demonstration, a less socially meaningful character video demonstration, or a no exposure control g...
Article
Full-text available
Seventy-two children, ages 30 and 36 months, participated in a hide-and-seek object retrieval game in one of three conditions: 1) playing an interactive computer game; 2) observing a video; or 3) observing an adult find the hidden characters through a one-way mirror. After exposure, children searched for the three characters in a playroom designed...
Article
Full-text available
This study described the relations among the amount of child-directed versus adult-directed television exposure at ages 1 and 4 with cognitive outcomes at age 4. Sixty parents completed 24-hour television diaries when their children were 1 and 4 years of age. At age 4, their children also completed a series of cognitive measures and parents complet...
Article
Full-text available
This study described the relations among the amount of child-directed versus adult-directed television exposure at ages 1 and 4 with cognitive outcomes at age 4. Sixty parents completed 24-hour television diaries when their children were 1 and 4 years of age. At age 4, their children also completed a series of cognitive measures and parents complet...
Article
Full-text available
This study described the relations among the amount of child-directed versus adult-directed television exposure at ages I and 4 with cognitive outcomes at age 4. Sixty parents completed 24-hour television diaries when their children were 1 and 4 years of age. At age 4, their children also completed a series of cognitive measures and parents complet...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine how 4-year-old children learn to use computers, with specific interest in what cognitive factors and parental scaffolding practices are associated with control of the computer via the computer mouse interface. Fifty-three 4-year-old children were videotaped while viewing two computer storybooks. Results indi...
Article
Full-text available
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