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Northwestern School of Communication

Ellen Wartella

Professor; Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Communication; Professor of Psychology; Professor of Human Development and Social Policy
I study the effects of media and technology on children's health and development. I am currently studying the influence of social media on adolescents health.

Area(s) of Expertise

Childhood Development, Child Psychology, Digital Media, Social Media, Social Psychology, Television
Ellen Wartella

Ellen Wartella researches the effects of media on children and adolescents, and the impact of food marketing in the childhood obesity crisis.

Lab Affiliation


  • Post-Doc Developmental Psychology, University of Kansas
  • PhD & MA Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
  • BA Communication, University of Pittsburgh


  • E. Wartella, A. Lichtenstein and C. Boone , Eds. (2010) Front of Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols: Phase I Report. Institute of Medicine. Washington DC: National Academies Press.
  • Wartella, E., Richert, R. and Robb,M. (2010) Babies, Television and Videos: How Did We Get Here? Developmental Review, 30(2) pp. 116-127.
  • J.G. Fender, R. Richert, M. Robb and E. Wartella (2010) Parent Teaching Focus and Toddlers: Learning from and Infant DVD. Infant and Child Development, 19, pp. 613- 627.
  • Richert, R., Robb,M., Fender, J.and Wartella, E (2010) World learning from baby videos. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 164(5). Doi: 10.1001/ archpediatrics.2010.24.

Awards and Honors

  • B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award, International Communication Association, May, 2015.
  • Senior Scholar Award, Children Adolescents and Media Division, International Communication Association, June, 2013.
  • Wayne Danielson Award for Distinguished Contributions to Communication Research, College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin, 2012.
  • Applied Public Policy/Research Award, International Communication Association, 2012.
  • National Associate, National Research Council of the National Academies, 2011
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Fellow, International Communication Association and Distinguished Scholar, National Communication Association. Inaugual Fellow of the Fred Rogers Center (2009-2010)

Recent Grants and Funding

  • National Science Foundation funding for Children’s Digital Media Center (2001-2011)


  • Children's Culture
  • Media and Children
  • Introduction to Media