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.

  • Is there a clear link between media violence and bad behavior in kids?

    An article that captures some of the controversy surrounding the issue of the impact of violent media on kids. Three experts are cited and quoted. One expert, Dr. Dmitri Christakis from Seattle, takes the side of grave concern and supports the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which sees a clear link between media violence and problematic behaviors in children. He argues, for instance, for parents to play violent video games with their children and form opinions about the game and then make parental decisions about media diet accordingly. Continue reading

  • Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t just affect adults
    Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t just affect adults

    A disturbing and thought-provoking article about how Candidate Trump, through his penetration into the lives and psyches of many Americans via the media, has turned up the dial on bullying in many schools around the country. Continue reading

  • Not enough excercise

    A must-read article about the dangers of too much screen time and the flip-side. Not enough time and energy being expended on actual physical activity had its dangers too. One of the major upshots of the article is that when kids are in front of screens too many hours a day, even though they have done little physical activity, they are often very, very tired. Continue reading

  • More on managing screen time

    A solid article that outlines six basic steps that concerned parents can take to safeguard their kids from the pernicious effects of the media. The sixth mentioned is setting limits on media involvement at bedtime and specifically in bed. Parents setting such limits is no small task, and, further, since many, many families in America have already enshrined screens in the bedrooms of their kids and for that matter in their own bedrooms, this major step would involve many parents needing to make a drastic change in their lifestyles. Continue reading

  • Managing screen time is a real issue for modern parents

    An article with six simple ways to impact positively on a family's involvement with the media. The ideas are simple but effective. They include parents playing video games and watching media with their children, putting down their own cell phones and electronics to be with their kids, setting limits on time spent with the media, and perhaps quite crucial to any sanity here, the parents getting TVs and electronics out of their children's bedrooms at bedtime. Continue reading

  • Parents need to look at their media habits

    A short and sad article written by a woman who is a self-proclaimed "screen addict" and who realizes how detrimental this addiction is to her parenting of her kids. She realizes that one of the most serious indications of her addiction is her children often complaining that she spends more time looking at the screen than relating to them. Continue reading

  • Stemming the rising tide of obesity

    A recent article in a Canadian paper about the rising tide of obesity in Canada. The numbers match ours. Though certain states in the US are lower than others, for instance Colorado versus Alabama, the fact that obesity has been on the rise since the 1980s in both countries is reason for much alarm. After all, with rising obesity comes much co-morbidity including more heart disease, strokes, and diabetes along with more school and work absenteeism. Continue reading