Kara Garrity

Area of Study: 
Communications, Annenburg School for Communications
PhD in Communication
Year of Graduation: 
Research Interests: 
How young children learn from television and what aspects of the presentation can be altered to enhance this process
Joseph Cappella
Dissertation Topic: 
Parental mediation from Looney Tunes to Angry Birds: Examining how parents are dealing with the content-specific issues of old media and the unique challenges of new media
Dissertation Committee: 
Dr. Joseph Cappella, Dr. Robert Hornik, Dr. Amy Jordan, and Dr. Paul Messaris
Current Position: 
Play Collective

Kara Garrity Liebskind received her doctoral degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.  She received a B.A. in Psychology and English from Georgetown University in 2008. Kara is primarily interested in exploring the aspects of children’s television that maximize learning in an effort to enhance the educational value of the media. In addition, she would like to examine the efficacy of applying such research in the classroom to supplement existing curriculum and employ a variety of presentations in a way that makes learning fun. This technique could be particularly useful for low income children, who enter school with less knowledge and fewer skills than their more advantaged peers, a gap that only increases as they move through the grades. Educational media in the classroom could help to minimize or even eliminate this gap, and educational media at home could prepare children so that the gap never even develops.


Garrity, K.M., Linebarger, D.L., Piotrowski, J.T., & Lapierre, M. (2010). A national parent survey: Predicting language and literacy skills from young children’s media environment.

Garrity, K.M., Piotrowski, J.T., McMenamin, K., & Linebarger, D.L. (2010). A summative evaluation of the Electric Company.

Simcock, G., Garrity, K., & Barr, R. (In Press). The effect of narrative cues on toddlers' imitation from television and picture books.