Media and Youth Development: An Overview of Issues, Theory, and Research

Christine McCauley Ohannessian, Michelle Boyd, Steven Kirsh


The homes of today’s youth are filled with a variety of media options, ranging from televisions (71%) and video game consoles (50%) in their bedrooms to portable handheld devices (e.g., iPods/mp3 players, 76%) and cell phones (71%) that can accompany youth wherever they go. Of course, youth also have access to centralized media found in homes, such as televisions (99% of homes) and computers with and without Internet access (93% and 84% of homes, respectively). Not surprisingly, youth consume media for about 7.5 hours per day, much of which involves using more than one media at the same time (i.e., multitasking), with adolescents consuming significantly more media than children (Lenhart, 2012; Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010).

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