Digital media and wellbeing among children and adolescents in Ticino


Anne-Linda Camerini

Principal Investigator

Anne-Linda Camerini is Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Institute of Public Health (IPH), USI Lugano. She holds a Master degree in media studies and a PhD in health communication. Her research includes studies on the role of digital media in the development and well-being of children and adolescents, using innovative methods for data collection and analysis. Her projects are mainly funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and are carried out in collaboration with the cantonal education administration (DECS) and other partners in Ticino.


Matilde Melotto

PhD candidate

Matilde Melotto is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Public Health at the Università della Svizzera italiana. Starting from March 2024, she has been working on the OHOPlay project (ital. GIOCO), investigating the role of different play activities (offline, hybrid, and online) in the socio-emotional development of children and adolescents. Matilde pursued her early undergraduate studies at the Università degli Studi di Torino where she graduated with honors in Psychological Sciences and Techniques. She then pursued her master's studies at the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan and the Università della Svizzera italiana, completing with honors a double degree in Cognitive Psychology in Health Communication. At the end of her studies, Matilde attended an internship at the Istituto di Psicosomatica Integrata in Milan, applying her psychological knowledge in the concrete of clinical practice. In December 2023, she then received her license as a psychologist by passing the State Examination. Her main research interests revolve around understanding the influence of early attachment relationships on the psycho-emotional development of children and adolescents, also, and most importantly, in association with the advent of digital media in everyday interpersonal relationships.


Giovanna Pedroni

PhD candidate (from July 2024)

Starting in July 2024, Giovanna Pedroni will be a PhD candidate at the Institute of Public Health at the Università della Svizzera italiana, as part of the project GIOCO, investigating the role of various ludic activities (offline, hybrid, and online) in the cognitive and physical functioning of children and adolescents. The project also aims to provide important recommendations on which form of play is best to adopt to promote good cognitive and physical functioning and the overall health of young people. Giovanna Pedroni studied Health Sciences and Technologies at the Polytechnic of Zurich, specializing in Public Health. Subsequently, she completed a research internship and her Master's thesis at the Institute of Public Health at USI, supervised by Dr. Camerini. She then continued working at the Institute of Public Health on two projects aimed at the prevention of brain concussions among young people and adolescents practicing sports. Her main research interests lie in health prevention and promotion, particularly in young people, and how lasting improvements can be achieved through close collaboration between science and politics. 


Sophie Mayen

Visiting Researcher

From March to June 2024, Sophie Mayen, a research associate (predoc) at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna, will be a visiting researcher at the Institute of Public Health at USI. Under the supervision of Dr Anne-Linda Camerini, Sophie will conduct secondary data analyses with data collected within the MEDIATICINO project, investigating the interplay of parental mediation and mental health among youth. Sophie's research interests revolve around media psychology, media effects, and health communication. Her current dissertation explores the links between digital media use, well-being, and students' academic performance. In addition, Sophie specializes in modelling multilevel data to uncover how short-term effects in situational media use contexts shape individual differences.



  • Francesco Vanetta
    Until December 2016, Francesco Vanetta was head of the Cantonal school administration of middle schools (DECS). He studied pedagogy in Geneva and for a decade has led the Cantonal office of education and research at DECS (research in education and school-related statistics). He continues to collaborate in the project as consultant and maintains the contact with DECS and all middle schools involved in the study.

Past co-investigators and consultants (in alphabetical order)

  • Leonia Menegalli, consultant
    Leonia Menegalli is general director of the comunal administration of public elementary schools in Bellinzona. Since 2014, she has been the principal contact with all elementary schools involved in the project. In addition, she collaborates as a consultant thanks to her long experience in the school environment and her training in Switzerland and abroad, especially in Canada (Québec), where she is still in contact with university teachers and researchers in pedagogy.
  • Laura Marciano, co-investigator
    Since January 2022, Laura Marciano holds a Postdoc Fellowship position at Harvard Chan T.H. School of Public Health, Boston (USA), where she studies the link between digital media use and happiness in young people. She has a Master's degree in Psychology, with a specialization in Cognitive Neuroscience, obtained at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan with Menzione ad Honorem. In October 2021, she defended her PhD thesis in Health Communication at USI Lugano, in which she investigated the link between digital media use and personality. She is the main investigator of the HappyB project. Read
  • Serena Petrocchi, co-investigator
    Serena Petrocchi is a Scientific Collaborator at the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences of the Università della Svizzera italiana. She has a Ph.D in Psychology obtained at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan. Her research interests include psycho-social determinants of mental and physical health and decision-making processes in health contexts. She has conducted research on doctor-patient relationships, interpersonal trust, empathy, social support, and interpersonal dynamics. She also studied adherence to medical regimes both in adults and children/adolescents. Read
  • Peter J. Schulz, consultant
    Peter J. Schulz is professor in communication theories and health communication at the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society, USI Lugano. His research interests include, among others, health literacy and empowerment, cultural factors in health, and the impact of parents and peers on deviant behaviors in children and adolescents. Read

Past collaborators (in alphabetical order)

  • Anna Maria Annoni
  • Chiara Antonietti
  • Benedetta Bernasconi
  • Kleona Bezani
  • Margot Carcuro
  • Chiara Filipponi
  • Giovanni Franscella
  • Elisa Galmarini
  • Anica Ilic
  • Ilaria Mammolo
  • Federica Mongillo
  • Susanna Morlino
  • Serena Quinto

Past visiting researchers (in alphabetical order)

  • Tiziano Gerosa, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca