Yalda T Uhls, MBA, PhD, teaches and conducts research at UCLA. In addition, she works with schools (Common Ground Silicon Valley, etc.), companies (Disney, Henson, etc.) and non-profits (Common Sense) at the intersection of positive youth development, entertainment media and scientific research; she is passionate about translating science into useful knowledge and takeaways. Dr. Uhls has been invited to share her knowledge with the White House, Pixar, the NFL, Google, public school districts, Harvard Business School and others.
Dr. Uhls spent over 15 years as a senior film executive at studios such as MGM and Sony, and then earned a PhD in psychology at UCLA in developmental psychology. Her expertise on how media content are created, along with the science of how media affect children, informs her unique perspective.
Yalda’s research focuses on how traditional and newer media impact the social behavior of preadolescents. Her findings were featured in Time Magazine, the NY Times, USA Today, NPR and others, and and published in journals such as Developmental Psychology and Computers in Human Behavior. In 2015, the 83 year old national organization of leading experts in child development, the Society for Research in Child Development, gave Yalda’s graduate school research its highest honor: Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation.
Dr. Uhls has written a parenting book called Media Moms and Digital Dads: A Fact not Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age, which is a synthesis of peer reviewed research, written in an accessible style for parents, educators and students. She also works part time with the national non-profit Common Sense Media on entertainment outreach and works with media companies such as Disney and Henson Pictures to share her expertise.
As the American-born child of Iranian immigrants, Yalda cares passionately about diversity, inclusion and equity and looks to educate youth and adults about myriad ways that explicit and implicit biases affect development. Having benefited from the University of California system – her BA is from UCB, and her MBA and PhD are from UCLA – she believes in the value of public school education and works to pay it forward as an adjunct professor at UCLA and a tutor for homeless children at the non-profit School on Wheels. Most importantly, she is the mom of two digital teens, a boy and a girl.