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Early Exposure to Media Violence
By Cris Rowan.
Not a day goes by without hearing about acts of violence. Cyberbullying, rape, domestic violence, school shootings, gang shootings, mass murders...and we're not talking about violence in war-torn countries half way around the globe, we're talking about violence in North America. Recent media reports indicate that over the past year, physical and sexual violent acts have increased 50% in major cities in the US and Europe (St. Louis, Baltimore, New York, London). While violence statistics have declined over the past decade, why suddenly are they increasing?

What's New

Coming September 15th - Tech Talk webinars for families

Tech Talks - Designed by pediatric occupational therapist Cris Rowan to help families better manage balance between technology and healthy living. Tech Talks is a series of ten 20 minute webinar sessions watched by whole family over the course of ten weeks. Webinars are followed by 20 minutes of family homework which details progressive strategies to redesign lifestyles for health. Includes the Zone'in Tech Tool Kit, and a 3 day family 'tech unplug' 
New - Child and Media app

Children and Media - is an app created by child psychologist Jonas Svensson in consultation from Cris Rowan, to help parents better understand how media influences children. Many parents are worried about their kids' device time, often resulting in conflicts within the family and concerns regarding the future. Too much time in front of screens creates a lack of development in other areas. The app Children & Media is designed as a parental guide. With more understanding of cause and effect of technology on children, families can find solutions to better manage technology, and work toward better relationships and sustainable futures.

Research Spotlight
By Heffler K and Oestreicher L for Medical Hypothesis July 2015
Through a process of neuroplasticity, the autistic infant develops the skills that are driven by the AV (audio visual screen) viewing. The AV developed neuronal pathways compete with preference for social processing, negatively affecting development of social brain pathways and causing global developmental delay.

Doctoral Sponsorship
Cris Rowan co-supervised Chantelle Bernier's doctoral dissertation in the area of impact of technology on children. Congratulations to Chantelle on completion of her PhD in this new and exciting field. Aa a result of co-presentation by Cris and Chantelle to Pediatric Therapy Network in California, they have been ask to co-teach an online course for Pacific University in Portland on the impact of technology on children for PhD students.

Cris in the News
In an articled titled Brain development related to media technology choices and screen time, Cris Rowan is cited for her supporting material, including the Huffington Post article below.

Huffington Post has recorded over 2.3 million Facebook likes for Cris Rowan's article 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12.

Foundation Series Workshop Schedule


August 26-28, 2015 - Inuvik, NWT
Presentation for teachers on impact of technology on children.

Contact person: Theresa Hartley 867-777-7421


January 12, 2016 - Dublin, Ireland

Workshops for professionals and parents on impact of technology on children sponsored by Young Presidents Organization.

Contact person: Denise Johnsen + 49.176.878.27621


January 15, 2016 - Paris, France

Workshops for professionals and parents on impact of technology on children sponsored by Young Presidents Organization.

Contact person: Denise Johnsen + 49.176.878.27621


January 18, 2016 - Italy

Workshops for professionals and parents on impact of technology on children sponsored by Young Presidents Organization.

Contact person: Denise Johnsen + 49.176.878.27621 


February 26, 2016 - Cross Currents Conference, Vancouver, BC
Workshop for special education teachers on impact of technology on children.
Contact person: Mary Speaker 


Research and News Review

Childhood Development

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on Jul 15, 2015 in Psychology Today Mental Wealth
Screens and parenting become a vicious cycle: bad behavior in a child prompts exhausted parents to "escape" with devices, which leads to reduced interaction and more electronic babysitting, which leads to overstimulation and more bad behavior. 
Dr. Elizabeth Zack, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at University of Washington, 2013.
This research demonstrates that infants find it difficult to understand a 2D image and 3D object can work in the same way without additional support from a social partner.

Too Much Television? Prospective Associations Between Early Childhood Televiewing and Later Self-reports of Victimization by Sixth Grade Classmates
By Watt, E. et al Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics July/August 2015 - Volume 36 - Issue 6 - p 426-433
Daily televiewing time at 29 months was associated with a subsequent increased risk of victimization by classmates at the end of sixth grade, a period which represents a critical developmental transition to middle school.

By Sarah Yang for Berkley News on July 9, 2015
Eye doctors at the University of California, Berkeley, are opening a new clinic to help combat an alarming 66% rise in myopia, or nearsightedness, which they attribute to the overuse of handheld electronics.

Kindergartens Ringing the Bell for Play Inside the Classroom
New York Times June 9, 2015
Concerned that kindergarten has become overly academic in recent years, this suburban school district south of Baltimore is introducing a new curriculum in the fall for 5-year-olds. Chief among its features is a most old-fashioned concept: play.

Play Hard, Live Free - Where Wild Play Still Rules
By Eric Westervelt for NPR Ed on August 4, 2015
This half-acre of dirt and quirky chaos hugging the Berkeley Marina on San Francisco Bay is ranked among the most innovative and creative places for kids to play in the U.S.
Mental Illness & Psychotropic Meds

By Sampasa-Kanyinga Hugues and Lewis Rosamund F. for Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. July 2015, 18(7): 380-385. doi:10.1089/cyber.2015.0055
Students with poor mental health are greater users of social networking sites.

The Complete Failure of our Drug-Based Mental Health System
By Kelly Patricia O'Meara on July 29, 2015 for CCHR International
Despite 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence.

Social Media & Mobile Technology
By Coby Persin for You Tube on August 10, 2015
One out of five teens hook up with a stranger they have met online. There are 750,000 convicted sexual predators on the street in North America looking for your child on social media.

By Krystal D'Costa on June 29, 2014 for Scientific American
Research suggests that texters adopt protective measures to minimize the risk of accidents when walking. Human evolution at its finest.

August 4, 2015 for Undernews
About 1 out of every 4 people socializes more online than in person, 32% of people would rather text you than talk to you, and a whopping 51% of teens would rather communicate digitally than in person (even with friends).

By Ann Christine Diaz for Creativity on July 20, 2015
AT&T's gut wrenching ad about texting and driving.  
Video Games & Pornography
CBC Radio May 9, 2015
This industry driven study lacks validity (sample size of 20), was not replicated, and was funded by New Haven's C8 Sciences, a company that intends to profit from sales, indicating conflict of interest. Makes one wonder who is funding CBC to report these dubious findings?
Immersed in Violence: How 3-D Gaming Affects Video Game Players
By Jeff Grabmeier for Ohio State University Press on October 19, 2014
Study finds playing violent games in 3-D leads to higher anger levels

The Inexplicable - Inside the mind of a mass killer
By Karl Ove Knausgaard for the New Yorker May 25, 2015
Article written about Norway's Anders Behring Breivik who murdered 77 people on July 22, 2011 about his 5 year isolation and immersion in World of Warcraft video game.

Rapes rise as violent crime soars
By Matthew Hickley, Daily Mail August 14, 2015
Violent crime rose sharply last year for the fourth year running, figures reveal today.
Police recorded big increases in violent assaults and sexual offences in the year to March, including a 27 per cent rise in rapes against women.

Competitive and Professional Gaming: Discussing Potential Benefits of Scientific Study
By Faust K. A. et al for International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning January-March 2013: 3(1) 67-77.
Authors suggest potential knowledge in the study of competitive gamers, both positive and negative.

Should Therapists have to Report Patients who have Viewed Child Pornography?
By Conor Friedersdorf on July 29, 2015 for The Atlantic
Under a California law that went into effect at the beginning of this year, any life therapist who learns that a patient has viewed child pornography of any kind-would be required to report that information to authorities.

Violent games DO alter your brain - and the effect is visible in MRI scans in just a week
By Rob Waugh Mail on Line 29 November 2011
First credible study of effect of violent gaming on brain.

Porn industry's billion-dollar new frontier
By Market Watch July 26, 2015
The porn industry is betting new advances in the technology can convince more people to pay for the content, since sales of traditional adult video have actually been slowing.
Technology Addictions
Is your kid a web junkie? Advice for parents about technology addiction
By Amy Craft on July 16, 2015 for CBC News
"My son is a big addict," Shefter said. "He plays games on the iPhone and iPad and sometimes he has a hard time stopping." The same is true for his eldest daughter. "She cannot put limits on herself and it's a major distraction."

Screen Addicts
60 Minutes on Internet Addiction Disorder on July 26, 2015
14 minute video clip profiles growing problems with children with technology addiction; includes interview with Dr. Kimberly Young and Dr. Hilarie Cash, known experts on internet addiction.

The Internet Process Addiction Test: Screening for Addictions to Processes Facilitated by the Internet
By Northrup J. C. et al for Behavioral Sciences July 28, 2015, 5(3) 341-52
The Internet Process Addiction Test (IPAT) was created to screen for potential addictive behaviors that could be facilitated by the internet; study demonstrated good validity and reliability.

Is Internet Addiction a Health Threat for Teenagers?
By Leah Nash for New York Times on July 16, 2015
Though Internet addiction is not yet a clinical diagnosis in the U.S., the American Psychiatric Association included "Internet Gaming Disorder" in the appendix of a 2013 update to their diagnostic manual to prompt further research. More advanced countries such as China and South Korea lead the world in internet addiction centers for youth.

Are You Addicted to the Internet?
By Catherine Steiner-Adair for CNN News on July 17, 2015
10 signs of problematic internet use.

Technology Has Hijacked Family Dinner
Watch the Pepper Hacker reclaim it.

The Japanese Ministry of Education is devising ways to fight Internet addiction in adolescents. The ministry plans to open Internet fasting camps in the coming fiscal year to help students learn to live away from their laptops and cellphones.

How to Make a Behavior Addictive
By Zoe Chance for TED Talks on May 14, 2013
Technology addictive allure is its power to meet all five human needs: significance, certainty, variety, connection, and growth.

Leadership Briefing at Great Lakes Naval Station on Internet Gaming Disorder
By Andrew Doan, M.D., Ph.D., CDR MC USN
Head, Dept. of Mental Health Addictions & Resilience Research, Staff Ophthalmologist & Ocular Pathologist, Naval Medical Center San Diego
Dr. Doan discusses the clinical evidence for Internet Gaming Disorder and how gaming addicts pose a risk to domestic violence in homes, the military, and national security.

What Can We Learn From the Portuguese Decriminalization of Illicit Drugs?
By Hughes C and Stevens A for British Journal of Criminology 2010: 50, 999-1022.
Programs reduced ALL addictions by 50%. Focus is to treat addiction by helping person rediscover purpose, reconnect them to society, and give them something to get out of bed for. Focus on job creation, microloans for small business.

ESL leads anti-PED initiative for esports with the support of NADA
By Ella McConnell on July 20, 2015 for ESL
ESL has partnered with NADA (the Nationale Anti Doping Agentur, which is headquartered in Bonn, Germany) to help create an anti-PED policy that is fair, feasible and conclusive while also respecting the privacy of players.

Tendon Rupture Associated with Excessive Smartphone Gaming
By Gillman L et al for JAMA Internal Medicine June 2015 175(6) 1048-9.
Case study profiles gamer who ignored pain symptoms to point of tendon rupture. The potential for video games to reduce pain perception raises clinical and social considerations about excessive use, abuse, and addiction.

By Johann Hari for TED Talks on Jun 2015
What really causes addiction -- to everything from cocaine to smartphones? And how can we overcome it?
Education Technology

By Jean-Philippe Lachaux for TED Talks on December 7, 2013
We pay attention to what the brain thinks is relevant, and the brain makes priority maps accordingly. Priority maps include some items systematically (flashing lights), items we fixate longer on, and items we have trained the brain to know we like. Video games are mapped as high priority, whereas the teacher is not.

Tech Radiation

Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Coureau G et al 2014 Jul;71(7):514-22. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2013-101754. Epub 2014 May 9.
Additional data from CERENAT study in France support previous findings concerning a possible association between heavy mobile phone use and brain tumours.

Mobile phone radiation causes brain tumors and should be classified as a probable human carcinogen (2A) (Review).
International Journal of Oncology, Morgan, L.L. et al published online February 25, 2015 pages: 1865-1871 DOI: 10.3892/ijo.2015.2908
The CERENAT finding of increased risk of glioma is consistent with studies that evaluated use of mobile phones for a decade or longer and corroborate those that have shown a risk of meningioma from mobile phone use. In CERENAT, exposure to RF EMF from digitally enhanced cordless telephones (DECTs), used by over half the population of France during the period of this study, was NOT evaluated. If exposures to DECT phones could have been taken into account, the risks of glioma from mobile phone use in CERENAT are likely to be higher than published.
Programs, Tools & Techniques
Parenting in the Screen Age
By Janell Burley Hofmann for TED Talks on January 11, 2014
Mom creates 18 point contract for her 13 year old son for his iPhone Christmas present. Check out Hofmann's website to make your own customized tech contract

The Pieces We Allow into our Lives
By Joshua Becker for Becoming Minimalist on July 9, 2015
Minimalism is about questioning what pieces we allow into our life. Our lives are finite and we are met with choices every day about what to allow in. And by definition, allowing in one piece necessitates missing another.

Rediscover Nature
Nature Valley Commercial July 20, 2015
Interviews with 3 generations about what they enjoy doing in their spare time.

Conferences & Courses
Digital Media and Developing Minds - Irving California on October 14-16, 2015
Sponsored by the Institute for Digital Media and Child Development, this conference in is a "must attend" for health and education professionals, social workers, researchers, and parents regarding the impact of technology on child development.

Introduction to the Dragonfly Attachment Treatment Program - Winnipeg Manitoba on September 28, 29, 2015
Sponsored by the Aulneau Centre practicing the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment. Understanding the attachment model of counselling helps provide valuable insight and skill to those of us who are in therapeutic, education and caregiving roles.

Zone'in Products

Sedentary, neglected, isolated, and overstimulated, the new millennium child can no longer pay attention and learn. Zone'in Products are designed by an occupational therapist to enhance child development and learning, ensuring successful futures.


Zone'in - enhancing attention, learning and self-regulation.

Move'in - teaches children to print, the foundation for literacy.

Unplug'in - builds skill and confidence in activities other than technology.

Live'in - media literacy guide for home, school and community.


Product Preview  


Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children

Virtual Child

By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist.

Virtual Child documents the impact technology has had on the developing child, and proposes tools and techniques to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use. 

Need more info? Visit


About the Author
Cris Rowan is a pediatric occupational therapist committed to enhancing child health and academic performance. Well known activist, speaker, sensory specialist and author, Cris is the "Go To" expert on child learning, development and technology overuse. Cris has provided over 200 workshops for health and education professionals, and is currently developing the Creating Sustainable Futures Program for a First Nations Community.
Training & Consultation

Instructor training for Foundation Series Workshops places pediatric occupational therapists on the cutting edge as experts in the field of technology's impact on child development.

Zone'in Training

Innovative team-based approach to manage balance between activities children need to grow and succeed with technology use.

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations. 

Care to Donate?
Zone'in Programs Inc. and Cris Rowan are seeking your support and assistance to ensure sustainable and productive futures for our children. Find out more about how you can help us!
Contact Us
6840 Seaview Rd. Sechelt BC V0N3A4 
Tel: 1-888-896-6346
Fax: 1-877-896-6346
Zone'in Programs Inc. 2015