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J Adolesc Health. 2000 Aug;27(2 Suppl):8-14.

Media and youth: access, exposure, and privatization.

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Department of Communication, Stanford University, Stanford 94305, California, USA.



To describe U.S. youth's access and exposure to the full array of media, as well as the social contexts in which media exposure occurs.


A cross-sectional national random sample of 2065 adolescents aged 8 through 18 years, including oversamples of African-American and Hispanic youth, completed questionnaires about use of television, videotapes, movies, computers, video games, radio, compact discs, tape players, books, newspapers, and magazines.


U.S. youngsters are immersed in media. Most households contain most media (computers and video game systems are the exception); the majority of youth have their own personal media. The average youth devotes 6 3/4 h to media; simultaneous use of multiple media increases exposure to 8 h of media messages daily. Overall, media exposure and exposure to individual media vary as a function of age, gender, race/ethnicity, and family socioeconomic level. Television remains the dominant medium. About one-half of the youth sampled uses a computer daily. A substantial proportion of children's and adolescents' media use occurs in the absence of parents.


American youth devote more time to media than to any other waking activity, as much as one-third of each day. This demands increased parental attention and research into the effects of such extensive exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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