ERIC Number: ED221857
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Fantasy-Reality Use of Mass Media by Children: A Longitudinal Study.
Smith, David M.
Gazette: International Journal for Mass Communication Skills, v27 p83-103 1981
A study of media use by children was conducted to produce an index of fantasy-reality orientation derived from the respondents' stated preferences for media content combined with their responses to a series of open-ended questions designed to tap the gratifications they claimed to receive from the media. Data were collected in three waves, when the subjects were 11-12, 13-14, and 15-16 on an initial panel of 632. Considering nonmedia as well as media sources of gratification indicated that with increasing age there is a greater reliance on the media as a source of both entertainment and news. An analysis of the extent to which the subjects changed categories over time revealed that a substantial number of them did concentrate their use predominately on fantasy-oriented gratifications. High fantasy use orientation was associated with females and to some extent with working class subjects, though findings for IQ and age of leaving school did not follow similar class-related patterns. The use of friends for leisure activity and information correlated with changes in media use orientation. In conclusion, though the concept of these two dichotomous categories may help researchers, the categories themselves may be misleading, particularly when they are used to study distinctions based upon social class. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Fantasy Reality Dichotomy; Media Use