Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Jim Ainsworth - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Don Reitzes - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Lesley Reid - Committee Member


Mass media has long been thought to have a detrimental effect on an adolescent’s values and behaviors. Many social ills including violence, misogyny and negative health behaviors, as well as egoistic cultural values have been attributed to mass media’s influence. Yet the media is not all powerful, nor are its powers unable to be combated. In this manuscript, I analyze the Educational Longitudinal Study data from 2002 to 2006 to determine the real effects mass media has on adolescents in comparison to other influences. I find that not all media is equal in influence. Television and video games have different relationships with a teenager’s values and behaviors in comparison to internet use. Additionally, I find that when parents are involved with their children as significant others, they do not negate, but can typically counteract many negative effects of media.

Included in

Sociology Commons