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ERIC Number: EJ795862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 34
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1054-8289
Media and Risky Behaviors
Escobar-Chaves, Soledad Liliana; Anderson, Craig A.
Future of Children, v18 n1 p147-180 Spr 2008
Liliana Escobar-Chaves and Craig Anderson investigate two important trends among American youth and examine the extent to which the two trends might be related. First, the authors note that U.S. youth are spending increasing amounts of time using electronic media, with the average American youngster now spending one-third of each day with some form of electronic media. Second, the authors demonstrate that American adolescents are engaging in a number of unhealthful behaviors that impose huge societal costs. Escobar-Chaves and Anderson detail the extent of five critical types of adolescent health risk behaviors identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--obesity, smoking, drinking, sexual risk taking, and violence. Obesity, the authors note, has become an epidemic among America's young people. Cigarette smoking among adolescents is one of the ten leading health indicators of greatest government concern. Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence are widespread problems among the nation's youth and are the source of the three leading causes of death among youth. More than 20 percent of American high school students have sexual intercourse for the first time before they reach the age of fourteen. And twelve- to twenty-year-olds perpetrated 28 percent of the single-offender and 41 percent of multiple-offender violent crimes in the United States in 2005. Escobar-Chaves and Anderson present and evaluate research findings on the influence of electronic media on these five risk behaviors among adolescents. Researchers, they say, have found modest evidence that media consumption contributes to the problem of obesity, modest to strong evidence that it contributes to drinking and smoking, and strong evidence that it contributes to violence. Research has been insufficient to find links between heavy media exposure and early sexual initiation. The authors note the need for more large-scale longitudinal studies that specifically examine the cumulative effects of electronic media on risky health behavior. (Contains 7 figures and 133 endnotes.)
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution. 267 Wallace Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. Tel: 609-258-6979; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States