Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Amanda Williams

Committee Member

Zola Moon

Second Committee Member

Kristin Higgins

Keywords

Adolescence, Media Use, Mental Health, Psychology, Sexual Health, Sociology

Abstract

Guided by the ecological “technosystem,” researchers examined data from 10,930 adolescents completing the CDC’s 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) looking for associations between television, social media, depressive symptoms, suicidality, and sexual risk behaviors. Regression results indicate media use is an important factor in adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems. Social media use was associated with significantly poorer mental health, while hours spent watching television was linked with significantly higher sexual risks. Findings from this research are important for multi-systemic prevention and intervention efforts aimed at promoting adolescent resiliency, particularly among vulnerable youth who are most susceptible to media influences.

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