The 20th Annual Conference


The Dangers and Promises of Social Media and Computer Technology for Children, Youth and Their Families: A Call to Action

Friday, May 6, 2016
About the conference: The current generation of youth ages 8-to-18 in the U.S.A. spend up to seven hours a day with multiple forms of electronic social media. Recent surveys indicate that:
  • 75% of 12 to 17 year olds own cell phones
  • 92% of teens report going online daily; 24% of these teens go online " almost constantly"
  • Teens send up to 3,400 texts a month which translates to more than a 100 texts per day
These findings raise a number of questions about the impact of social media on children, youth and their families in today’s electronically-saturated society. The technological promises of instantaneous communication and collaboration also create dangers including electronic aggression and victimization. This conference brings together members of The Melissa Institute’s Scientific Board who have over 200 years of cumulative experience in violence prevention and treatment. These leading experts will share their research and experiences with the challenges and potential benefits of electronic social media for the 21st century community of children, youth and their families.

Wendy Craig, Ph.D., Professor, Head of the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University, Co-director of the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet)

Lawrence S. Feldman, Ph.D., Vice Chair of the Miami-Dade County Public School Board

Jim Larson, Ph.D., NCSP, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

Don Meichenbaum, Ph.D., Research Director of The Melissa Institute, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Debra J. Pepler, Ph.D., C.Psych., Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology, York University, Co-director of the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet)

Dan Santisteban, Ph.D., Director of Dunspaugh-Dalton Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center, Professor, School of Education & Human Development, University of Miami.