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.

  • 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

  • Measuring up to the media
    Measuring up to the media

    The idea of a thigh gap is a new one on me, but I think my relative ignorance in this matter only points out how much on the media operates on a level of which parents are not aware. Continue reading

  • Are media devices having a negative impact on young minds?

    An excellent article that captures many, many of my ideas that can now be read in much detail in my book, When the Media is the Parent about how the media world in which our children now are constantly immersed is impacting very negatively on many of our children's psyches. Continue reading

  • Unplugging from social media

    A savvy article written by a journalist whose daughter has decided, seemingly on her own, to set aside her smart phone and live without it. She reports feeling happier and less stressed. An experiment of one, to be sure, but still an idea and an action that many parents wish their kids would replicate. Continue reading

  • Child supermodels?

    An interesting article about a 9-year old Russian supermodel named Kristina Piminova. As the article correctly points out, this lovely young girl is being sexualized by the media and certainly by those who follow her and her various photo spreads. Though she is mostly modeling children's clothing, people who find her attractive are often adults who see her through the lens of sexuality. Continue reading

  • The sexualization of American youth

    A worthwhile article about a documentary that decries the sexualization of American youth, most especially females. The real issue is that we as a nation are now immersed day in, day out in the media... Continue reading