Media Use and Youth Well-Being

Authored by: Xiaojun Sun , Kaveri Subrahmanyam

The Routledge Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138886582
eBook ISBN: 9781315714752
Adobe ISBN: 9781317501954


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Media have come to play an important role in how children and adolescents acquire information, make and connect with friends and family, and consume entertainment. In their media-saturated lives, youth watch television in their bedrooms or on their own laptops or tablets, and use their music players and mobile phones while on the go. Television still reigns supreme in children’s media lives and remains the medium that children use most frequently; in 2013, nearly 6 out of 10 U.S. children (58%) reported that they watched television at least once a day. Of the roughly two hours (1 hr 55 min) of screen media that children are reported to be using on average each day, half (50%) was spent watching television on a television set (57 minutes) (Common Sense Media, 2013). A third of the parents in this survey reported that the television was always on in their homes, even if the children were not “actively watching” it. Worldwide, 90% of adolescents (18–24 years) and 97% of 15- to 24-year-olds use the Internet (World Internet Project, 2013). Youth spend considerable amounts of time using media, especially newer media (Roberts & Foehr, 2008), and the World Internet Project (2014) reveals that adolescents and young adults (9–25 years) report spending an average of 30 hours per week on the Internet.

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