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.

  • Obese kids are often ridiculed online

    An article that ties together two problems related to the media. The first is obesity in childhood and adolescence, a problem on the rise in America and the West. Significant causal factors are over-eating of high caloric foods and the sedentary life of so many of our youth. Both of these factors are related to over-consumption of the media by American youth. Continue reading

  • Are kids learning bad behavior from the media?
    Are kids learning bad behavior from the media?

    An excellent and thoughtful article by Greg Trimble with some serious concerns about the troubling way the media is affecting our kids. To be sure, basic issues like the glamorizing of sex and violence come to mind quite easily. But Trimble is writing about something at once more subtle and insidious: role modeling and values. Continue reading

  • Social media as a way around advertising regulations

    An interesting article describing how junk food companies work to finesse their way around laws established in Australia to stem the consumption of junky foods by kids. The technique is simple: go directly to advertising to kids on Facebook. Apparently Australian legislators have set limits on junk food advertising to kids on TV but not via the social media. Continue reading

  • Keeping up with what your children are watching

    A thoughtful and hopeful article since it demonstrates how parents are beginning to understand the value of both limiting screen time for kids and being discerning about what kids actually consume while in front of media machines. Continue reading

  • Media has a strong influence on food choices, good or bad

    An excellent and upbeat article well worth close study. The idea is that, although the media has played a negative role in inducing kids into bad food habits, the media can also play its part in positive directions in terms of influencing kids to eat healthy. Continue reading

  • Violent media may lead to a lack of empathy
    Violent media may lead to a lack of empathy

    An interesting and hopeful article that should be read and re-read. The issue here is that parents are becoming more and more aware of how problematic violent video games can be for kids, despite there still being some controversy about how often and how seriously violence from video games and media might be directly affecting children's evolvement in actual violence. Continue reading

  • Anything for fame

    A short article on an alarming new craze among kids: They light themselves on fire, video themselves douse the flames and post the episode online. The purpose is ostensibly a few minutes of media celebrity. Continue reading