About the Author

George DrinkaGeorge F. Drinka, MD is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and the author of The Birth of Neurosis: Myth, Malady and the Victorians (Simon & Schuster).  He has also written for the New York Time Book Review and the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Dr. Drinka offers unique expertise in a numbers of areas related to the topic of his new book. In addition to his work with children and adolescents as a psychiatrist, he is a psychotherapist, a cultural historian and an acclaimed storyteller who focuses on the human condition. (See the reviews of The Birth of  Neurosis.) Hence he can offer original and probing insights into the interplay of  pop culture, American families, and children’s emotional lives.

When the Media is the ParentHe received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School and attended Oxford University where he undertook a graduate program in the Department of Modern History. There he worked on a dissertation in medical and cultural history and on reading and writing fiction. He then completed his psychiatric residency at Yale University and his fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital.  He then joined the faculty at the Harvard Medical School as an Instructor while writing the final drafts of his first book, The Birth of Neurosis, which grew out of  his Oxford dissertation. Positively reviewed in many prominent publications, this book displays his expertise as an historian and psychiatrist and his verve for storytelling.

Dual certified in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, he has been on the clinical faculty of the Oregon Health Sciences University and in private practice in Portland, Oregon for more than twenty years. During these years, he became immersed in endless hours of therapy with children and adolescents who reveal to him their inner lives.  Through this clinical work, he became aware of how deeply, certain media creations and the pop culture more generally, have entered into the fantasy world and daydreams of American children and slowly, subtly shaped them. His new book, When the Media Is the Parent, is a culmination of  his work with children, his scholarly study of works on the media and American cultural history, and his dedication to writing stories that reveal the humanity in us all.

  • Limiting our teens’ access to media

    A great article about how concerned Catholic parents are dealing with their kids involvement with the internet. Though many parents, and certainly many American corporations, would disagree with these parents ways of proceeding, they do offer food for thought. Continue reading

  • Limiting screen time for kids

    A good summary article of the state of affairs in terms of screen time in childhood, its ill-effects on kids, and some approaches to making a difference. In terms of screen time, the figures are staggering with kids spending many, many hours per day in front of screens while only spending about a half hour daily reading. Continue reading

  • Medieval public shaming in the digital age

    A strange and troubling article that suggests some weird and nettling social trends. In the article an 11 year old girl sends a risque selfie to a same-age boy. The parents find out, and the father responds by cutting off her hair and then sending out social media pics of his hair-shorn child. Bereft and humiliated, the girl takes her life by jumping off a bridge. Continue reading

  • You can eat just one

    A humorous and telling article about the problem of over-eating and its connection with the culture at large. The author describes his grandfather, who grew up in Europe during WW II and who suffered at times from caloric deprivation. the author recalls an incident in which his grandfather enjoyed with much pleasure one Pringle and then put the container away and went on with his life. Continue reading

  • More on the effects of violent media
    More on the effects of violent media

    A worthwhile article whose title is misleading and whose conclusion must be placed in context. The article involves about 200 kids whose media diet is calculated and whose proneness toward aggression is then evaluated through perceptions of their teachers. The conclusion is that kids who watch about 1 hour or less of violent media per day may actually be less violent than the average child, but children who watch three hours or more of violent media not only are more prone to aggression but also likely to perform more poorly in school. Continue reading

  • The media can be one factor in developing eating disorders
    The media can be one factor in developing eating disorders

    A thoughtful and thorough article about the connection between eating disorders and media immersion. The idea here is that young females especially, but also males, who watch much media - and the average now is at least four hours a day - are constantly being presented with images of female and male beauty that glamorizes slimness. This repetitious act of viewing such thin and beautiful humans becomes embedded in our psyches so that the viewer sees thinness as an ideal, one toward which she or he strives. Continue reading

  • Overwhelming Evidence

    A short scholarly article in the journal Pediatrics that gives an overview of the ill effects of the media on kids. The articles also outlines why the messages of the the academic world are not penetrating the world of the American family. Continue reading