Adolescent and parent perceptions of media influence on adolescent sexuality

Ronald Jay Werner-Wilson, Jennifer Lynn Fitzharris, Kathleen M. Morrissey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that television and other media influence adolescents' attitudes and behaviors. Much of the research in this area is based on surveys in which adolescents are asked to rank the relative importance of a fixed set of factors such as parents, peers, and media. We reviewed data from focus groups conducted with adolescents and their parents to examine the extent to which adolescents identify - without prompting - media as a source of influence on sexual behavior. Adolescents seemed indifferent to media influence (e.g., media influence was mentioned in only one adolescent focus group), but their parents expressed significant concern about media influence. Future research should investigate the extent to which influences exist outside of adolescents' consciousness. For now, parents and sexuality educators may need to convince adolescents that concerns about the media are valid before trying to change media-inflenced behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalAdolescence
Volume39
Issue number154
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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