A Longitudinal Examination of the Relationship Between Media Use and Self-Competence During Adolescence

Christine McCauley Ohannessian


The primary goal of this longitudinal study was to examine whether media use predicts adolescent self-competence and/or whether adolescent self-competence predicts media use. The sample included 1,031 10th and 11th grade boys and girls from the United States. The adolescents completed a self-report questionnaire in 2007 and 2008 to assess their media use (talking and texting on the phone, listening to music, e-mailing/IMing, playing video games, and working on the computer) and self-competence (social competence, scholastic competence, athletic competence, and perceived physical appearance). Path analysis results revealed that media use had a minimal effect on adolescent self-competence. In contrast, adolescent self-competence consistently predicted media use. Results from this study highlight the need to examine both directions of influence between adolescent media use and adjustment.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2014.78

Copyright (c) 2014 Journal of Youth Development

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