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Dev Psychol. 2016 May;52(5):798-812. doi: 10.1037/dev0000108. Epub 2016 Feb 25.

Does parental mediation of media influence child outcomes? A meta-analysis on media time, aggression, substance use, and sexual behavior.

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School of Family Life, Brigham Young University.
College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University.


The current study examined how parental mediation of media (restrictive mediation, active mediation, and coviewing) influenced child outcomes. Three meta-analyses, 1 for each type of mediation, were conducted on a total of 57 studies. Each analysis assessed the effectiveness of parental mediation on 4 pertinent child outcomes: media use, aggression, substance use, and sexual behavior. The overall results indicated small, but significant relationships between child outcomes and restrictive mediation (r+ = -.06), and coviewing (r+ = .09). Overall active mediation was nonsignificant, though active mediation was individually related to lower levels of aggression (r+ = -.08), sexual behavior (r+ = -.06), and substance use (r+ = -.11). This analysis revealed that parents may have the ability to mitigate some of the adverse effects of the media by using certain mediation strategies. Overall, a cooperative effort from the communication and parenting fields is necessary for a comprehensive analysis of parental mediation as well as a disentanglement of the various parental mediation measures. (PsycINFO Database Record.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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