Scanlan Center for School Mental Health

“SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age” Documentary Viewing and Conversation

February 24, 2024
5:30-7:15 pm CST
In-Person Iowa City, Iowa (Iowa Theater Room 166, Iowa Memorial Union, 125 N Madison St.)
Special Event


Gerta Bardhoshi
Gerta Bardhoshi, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Training
Scanlan Center for School Mental Health
Professor of Counselor Education
University of Iowa College of Education
Dr Johnathan Platt
Jonathan Platt, Ph.D., MPH
Assistant Professor
Department of Epidemiology
University of Iowa College of Public Health
Bengi Baran
Bengi Baran, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Psychological and Brain Sciences

Event Details

K-12 parents, educators, and community members, join us on Saturday, February 24 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. in Iowa City, Iowa for a full viewing and facilitated discussion of the documentary SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in The Digital Age.

An award-winning film that probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, and academics, SCREENAGERS offers solutions on how we can help our kids navigate the digital world.

Watch the Trailer

Physician and filmmaker, Delaney Ruston decided to make SCREENAGERS when she found herself constantly struggling with her two kids about screen time. Ruston felt guilty and confused, not sure what limits were best, especially around mobile phones, social media, gaming, and how to monitor online homework. Hearing repeatedly how other parents were equally overwhelmed, she realized this is one of the biggest, unexplored parenting issues of our time.

As a director, Ruston turned the camera on her own family and others—revealing stories of messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction.  We meet Hannah, a 14-year old victim of social media bullying who struggled trying to hide her social media use from her mom. And Andrew, whose love of video games turned into an addiction taking him from earning straight A’s to flunking out of college.

Interwoven into these stories, are cutting edge science and insights from thought leaders Peggy Orenstein, Sherry Turkle, Simon Sinek, as well as leading brain scientists who present evidence on the real changes in the brain when kids are on screens. SCREENAGERS goes far beyond exposing the risks of screen time, it reveals multiple approaches on how parents and educators can work with kids to help them achieve a healthy amount of screen time.

Movie Themes

  • Use of screens in school
  • Boys and video games
  • Girls and social media
  • Risk of addiction


  • Kids spend on average 6.5 hours a day on screens and that doesn’t include classroom or homework screen time.
  • Boys spend on average the equivalent of 1.5 days on video games every week
  • Some recent studies show us that screen time increases dopamine production and causes behavior that mimics addiction.

SCREENAGERS has been screened more than 8,000 times to four million people in more than 70 countries around the world.

As part of the community viewing model, parents, educators, PTAs, religious organizations, medical practices, and workplace groups can book their own screenings at  Parents are encouraged to bring their kids to the movie.


  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. SCREENAGERS viewing
  • 6:30 – 7:15 p.m. Facilitated conversation with Dr. Gerta Bardhoshi, Dr. Jonathan Platt, and Dr. Bengi Baran

Only 100 spots available – save your spot now!