The "Young Scholars Network on Media Use and Well-Being" brings together the expertise of 15 international young researchers exploring the benefits and risks associated with the use of media and their effects on psychological well-being over a three-year period. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the network of scholars, who will meet for a total of three workshops in Mainz, is under the supervision of Junior Professor Dr. Leonard Reinecke of the Institute of Media and Communications Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).
The project seeks to promote interdisciplinary exchange among outstanding young scholars and to provide an international perspective on the impact of media on the well-being of its users. The aim is to achieve an unbiased analysis of the status quo of media use that takes into account both the potentially positive impact of media exposure as well as the challenges and negative implications people encounter in an increasingly networked and media-permeated everyday world. "The impact of new media technologies on the quality of life and the underlying processes that drive both the beneficial as well as the detrimental effects of media use have yet to be explored in many areas. We hope that we will be able to make an innovative contribution through our interdisciplinary approach," stated Reinecke.
The project brings together researchers from the fields of communication research, psychology, media education, and clinical research. In addition to members from eight German universities, international researchers from the Free University of Amsterdam, Harvard University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Zurich are involved in the project. The initial meeting of the Young Scholars Network will take place at Mainz University in the first half of 2014.