Charmaraman is currently conducting a three-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health to follow middle school students and their parents during a critical developmental period to determine longer-term health and wellbeing effects of social technologies, including smartphones, social media, YouTube, and gaming. A key goal of this project is not only to prevent negative health effects of social media use, but also to harness its potential to increase connections with other people and communities through the exchange of social and emotional support and opportunities for civic engagement. Alongside this project, Charmaraman received an additional award from NIH to study the role of pets in the positive development of adolescents.
In 2019 and 2020, Charmaraman partnered with a computer scientist to pilot workshops for middle school students to help them explore their social identities and promote STEM engagement in underserved communities. The workshops also encouraged participants to (re)define what healthy social media use means as a tween and teen, with the long-term goal of co-designing apps to empower middle school students to self-regulate their own use.
Charmaraman also directs the Media & Identity Study, ongoing since 2011, an international survey of over 5,000 participants in over 20 countries about media use, social identities, digital citizenship, and civic engagement.
As part of a multimedia strategy project in 2012, funded by the Schott Foundation for Public Education, Charmaraman produced a 30-minute documentary video, It’s Our Time: The empathy gap for girls of color, to promote public awareness of the road to educational equity for girls of color. The ultimate goal was to invite public discourse about overcoming barriers to (often overlooked) educational equity for girls of color in order to affect education policy and practice.