Campus & Community

APA honors Susan Linn, HMS instructor, foe of marketing to children

2 min read

Highlighting her leadership in opposing marketing to children, the American Psychological Association (APA) has awarded Susan Linn, instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS), its prestigious Presidential Citation. The award was presented Oct. 28 in Boston at the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood’s fifth annual summit, “Consuming Kids: Marketing in Schools and Beyond.”

While personally presenting the citation to Linn, APA President Gerald Koocher commented: “You have focused sharp attention on the rights of children to grow up, and the rights of parents to raise them, without undermining by rampant consumer manipulation. The American Psychological Association takes pride in acknowledging and applauding both your current efforts and your sustained career contribution focused on the public interests of our most vulnerable citizens.”

An educational psychologist, Linn is co-founder of Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood (a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups, and concerned parents); the associate director of the media center at Judge Baker Children’s Center; and author of “Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood.”

Alvin F. Poussaint, professor of psychiatry at Judge Baker Children’s Center and HMS, called the APA citation “A richly deserved honor for a psychologist who has made outstanding contributions to the well-being of children.”

Linn is regularly quoted as one of the nation’s most vigorous advocates for reversing the onslaught of marketing to children. An Emmy Award-winning producer, ventriloquist, and puppeteer, she was a regular guest on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” She also pioneered the use of puppets to help children cope with illness, hospitalization, and other difficult life challenges.

“I’m both touched and honored to receive the Presidential Citation,” Linn said. “I’m especially pleased that APA recognizes the important role psychologists can play as activists in the growing movement to stop the commercial exploitation of children,” she added.