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How is media consumption affecting your teen?  Studies show that not only are adolescents exposed to an overwhelming amount of media, – through TV, music, advertising and more – the images and messages they’re receiving influence their behavior.

Americans spend about one-third of their free time, MORE THAN THE NEXT 10 MOST POPULAR LEISURE ACTIVITIES COMBINED, watching television. The average teenager spends more time in front of the television than any other activity besides sleeping.

By age 18, a teenager will have seen 350,000 commercials; 100,000 may be advertisements for beer.

MEDIA USAGE

* Average time kids spend watching TV each day: 4 Hours

* 54% of kids have a TV in their bedroom. 

* 44% of kids say they watch something different when they’re alone than with their parents (25% choose MTV)

* 66% of children (ages 10 to 16) surveyed say that their peers are influenced by TV shows

* 65% say that shows like The Simpsons and Married… With Children encourage kids to disrespect parents.

MEDIA & BODY IMAGE

70% of girls get their idea of a perfect female body from images they see in magazines.

Boys who look at health and fitness magazines are two times more likely to use steroids and unproven supplements.

MEDIA & SELF ESTEEM

3 minutes of looking at a magazine can negatively influence one’s self esteem.

MEDIA & SEX

A new study shows that 12- to 14-year-olds exposed to the most sexual content in movies, music, magazines, and on television were 2.2 times more likely to have had sexual intercourse when re-interviewed two years later then their peers who had a lighter sexual media diet.

* 62% say that sex on TV shows and movies influences kids to have sex when they are too young

* 77% say there is too much sex before marriage on television

MEDIA & SUBSTANCE USE

One in three popular songs contains explicit references to drug or alcohol use, according to a new report in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. That means kids are receiving about 35 references to substance abuse for every hour of music they listen to, the authors determined.

MEDIA & VIOLENCE

* Witnessing repeated violent acts can lead to desensitization and a lack of empathy for human suffering

* Television alone is responsible for 10% of youth violence. – Leonard Eron, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Michigan

* According to the American Psychiatric Association, “The debate is over… For the last three decades, the one predominant finding in research on the mass media is that exposure to media portrayals of violence increases aggressive behavior in children.”

PARENTAL CONCERN

* A majority of parents say they are “very” concerned about the amount of sex (60%) and violence (53%) their children are exposed to on TV. After being read arguments on both sides of the issue, nearly two-thirds of parents (63%) say they favor new regulations to limit the amount of sex and violence in TV shows during the early evening hours, when children are most likely to be watching (35% are opposed). – Kaiser Family Foundation ’04 

RESOURCES

http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/facts/mediafacts.asp

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/under-the-influence-ofmusic/

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/03/health/webmd/main1464262.shtml

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