Design and layout:
Anne Jankiewicz, Kaiser Family Foundation Editorial assistance:
Theresa Boston and Kanani Kauka, Kaiser Family Foundation Additional graphics:
Theresa Boston, Kaiser Family Foundation Copyright © 2010 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, California. All rights reserved.
Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds
A Kaiser Family Foundation Study
Victoria J. Rideout, M.A.
Ulla G. Foehr, Ph.D.
Donald F. Roberts, Ph.D.
Table of Contents
Overall Media Use
Music and Other Audio
Media Environment and Rules
Demographic Predictors of Media Use
Changes in Question Wording and Structure Over Time
Sample of Media Use Diary
s anyone who knows a teen or a tween can attest, media are among the most powerful forces in young people’s lives today. Eight- to eighteen-year-olds spend more time with media than in any other activity besides (maybe) sleeping—an average of more than 7½ hours a day, seven days a week. The TV shows they watch, video games they play, songs they listen to, books they read and websites they visit are an enormous part of their lives, offering a constant stream of messages about families, peers, relationships, gender roles, sex, violence, food, values, clothes, and an abundance of other topics too long to list.
Understanding the role of media in young people’s lives is essential for those concerned about promoting the healthy development of children and adolescents, including parents, pediatricians, policymakers, children’s advocates, educators, and public health groups. It is the purpose of this study to foster that understanding by providing data about young people’s media use: which media they use, which they own, how much time they spend with each medium, which activities they engage in, how often they multitask, and how they differ from one another in the patterns of their media use. Our aim is to provide a more solid base from which to examine media’s effects on children and to help guide those who are proactively using media to inform and educate America’s youth. The study is one of the largest and most comprehensive
publicly available sources of information on the amount
and nature of media use among American youth:
It includes a large national sample of more than
2,000 young people from across the country;
It covers children from ages 8 to18, to track changes
from childhood through the transitional “tween”
period, and on into the teenage years;
It explores a comprehensive array of media, including
TV, computers, video games, music, print, cell phones,
Among the questions we address are:
It is one of the only studies to measure and account for
media multitasking—the time young people spend
using more than one medium concurrently; and
It gathers highly detailed information about young
people’s media behavior, including responses to
an extensive written questionnaire completed by
the entire sample, plus results from a subsample of
approximately 700 respondents who also maintained
week-long diaries recording their media use in halfhour increments.
Finally, because this is the third wave of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s studies of children’s media use, it not only provides a detailed look at current media use patterns
among young people, but also documents changes in
children’s media habits since the first two waves of the
study, in 1999 and 2004.
Which media are young people using?
Please join StudyMode to read the full document