Brandywine professor takes collaborative research project to Germany

MEDIA, Pa. — This summer, Jennifer Zosh, associate professor of human development and family studies (HDFS) at Penn State Brandywine, will lead a child development research project in Germany through the Jacobs Foundation Marbach Castle Residence Program.

The project is titled “A Changing Childhood: Exploring, Studying and Sharing Cross-Cultural Experiences with Digital Media.” Zosh’s team will spend one week at Marbach Castle in Germany performing collaborative research.

“My team consists of a pediatrician and researchers from both the United States and Australia,” said Zosh, “so the opportunity to work face-to-face for a week is invaluable.”

During their week in residency, the team will discuss their work with other scholars from around the world. They will also write a grant proposal that they hope will be used to fund their own project beyond summer 2017.

“As a researcher, I am honored to work with an international group of scholars for an entire week,” she said. “The international component of this project and the support of the Jacobs Foundation makes this a once-in-a-career opportunity.”

Zosh’s project, “A Changing Childhood,” explores the role of digital media in child development around the world. It also studies parental attitudes towards media use and the best ways for pediatricians to communicate effective screen-time guidelines for children.

Ultimately, the study aims to provide parents, educators and practitioners with relevant, informed guidelines for introducing children to healthy, constructive media consumption habits.

“By evaluating parent and provider knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and barriers related to digital media usage, we can guide this process and create a tool that is both evidence-based and meets the needs of families in this ever-changing digital world,” said Zosh.

For more information about the Jacobs Foundation, visit the organization’s website