Generation M2 Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 year-olds

I am continuing my practice of sharing recent internet safety research pieces:

Excerpt

Study by the Kaiser Foundation:

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, and movies;
  • 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 half-hour 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.

Youth suicide continues to be a significant public health concern in the United States. Even though suicide rates have decreased 28.5 percent among people in recent years, upward trends were identified in the 10‐ to 19‐year‐old age group.  In addition to those who successfully end their life, many other adolescents strongly think about and even attempt suicide.

One Factor that has been linked to suicidal ideation is experience with bullying. That is, youth who are bullied, o bully others, are at an elevated risk for suicidal thoughts, attempts, and completed suicides.  The reality of these links has been strengthened through research showing how experience with peer harassment (most often as a target but also as a perpetrator) contributes to depression, decreased self‐worth, hopelessness, and loneliness – all of which are precursors to suicidal thoughts and behavior.

Without question, the nature of adolescent peer aggression has evolved due to the proliferation of information and communications technology. There have been several high‐profile cases involving teenagers taking their own lives in part because of being harassed and mistreated over the Internet,7‐9 a phenomenon we have termed cyberbullicide – suicide indirectly or directly influenced by experiences with online aggression.10 While these incidents are isolated and do not represent the norm, their gravity demands deeper inquiry and understanding. Much research has been conducted to determine the relationship between traditional bullying and suicidal ideation, and it can be said with confidence that a strong relationship exists.11, 12 Based on what we found in the extant literature base, we sought to determine if suicidal ideation was also linked to experiences with cyberbullying among offenders and targets.

Highlights from the Research:

  • 20% of respondents reported seriously thinking about attempting suicide
  • All forms of bullying were significantly associated with increases in suicidal ideation
  • Cyberbullying victims were almost twice as likely to have attempted suicide compared to youth who had not experienced cyberbullying

Click here to learn more: Generation M2 Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 year-olds

Linda

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