Virtual Learning, Real Results: Supporting Young Children’s Learning in Our Media-Saturated Environment
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed young children’s media use and exposure both at home and in education. While the effects of media use on young children’s health and development have been well documents, we don’t yet understand how that will evolve in our post-pandemic, screen-saturated reality. This chapter explores several key elements of young children’s learning with digital media including: 1) understanding digital media as tools for achieving focused learning goals, 2) strategies for selecting media that are optimal for young children’s learning, and 3) how to recognize and avoid the potential risks involved with young children’s learning with screen media.
Lavallee Collins, K. & Rich, M. (2022). Virtual Learning, Real Results: Supporting Young Children’s Learning in Our Media-Saturated Environment. In A. Betts, & K. Thai (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Innovative Approaches to Early Childhood Development and School Readiness (pp. 536-552). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-8649-5.ch022
Parental Perceptions of the Impact of Summer Media Habits on Adolescent Physical Health
Adolescent interactive media use increased dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic, both for remote learning and socializing. Over the summer of 2021, many pandemic restrictions were lifted; this research surveyed parents to explore screen media use habits and physical health effects and changes between periods of time. The results found that most adolescents used screen media more in the summer of 2021 than in the summer of 2020 or the 2020-2021 school year. 71% of parents also responded that their child “sometimes” or more frequently experienced physical symptoms, like eye strain, following a typical day of media use. Multitasking, late night media use, and behavioral health diagnoses may predispose adolescents to certain use habits that could increase physical symptoms associated with screen use.
Bickham, D., Hunt, E. A., & Rich, M. (2022). 137. Parental Perceptions of the Impact of Summer Media Habits on Adolescent Physical Health. Journal of Adolescent Health, 70(4), S72–S73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2022.01.054
Exploring Use Patterns and Racial and Ethnic Differences in Real Time Affective States During Social Media Use Among a Clinical Sample of Adolescents With Depression: Prospective Cohort Study
Better understanding how Social Media Use (SMU) impacts mental health requires a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between different patterns of SMU and specific individual factors. Studies suggest that more active forms of SMU may offer mental health benefits when compared with more passive forms and that there may be important differences in patterns of SMU and affective states among those identifying as racial and ethnic minorities. This study used Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to investigate these potential differences in adolescents. Results showed that observed emotional affect for active or passive use were varied for participants of different races and ethnicities. Exploration of the interactions among cultural differences in SMU strategies and characteristics will be critical to furthering our understanding of the impact of SMU on youth mental health.
Nereim, C., Bickham, D., & Rich, M. (2022). Exploring Use Patterns and Racial and Ethnic Differences in Real Time Affective States During Social Media Use Among a Clinical Sample of Adolescents With Depression: Prospective Cohort Study. JMIR Formative Research, 6(5), e30900–e30900. https://doi.org/10.2196/30900
How a peripheral ideology becomes mainstream: strategic performance, audience response, and media amplification in the case of QAnon Twitter accounts
Social media platforms have been used by various actors to bypass traditional media gatekeepers to share messages, draw attention, and accumulate influence. We study how actors from peripheral groups gain influence on social media and how their social media behaviors evolve over time. Integrating online strategic performance and hybrid media literature, we hypothesize that peripheral groups perform group identities to spur social media audience reaction and news media amplification, to which they further adapt their performance. By analyzing 242 QAnon Twitter accounts using topic modeling and time series modeling, we find that their in-group solidarity and out-group animosity tweets boost retweets, but not followers; increased retweets and followers drive news media amplification largely undertaken by right-wing outlets and motivate future performance of group identity, particularly of out-group animosity. The implications of social media and news media for the growth of peripheral actors and ideologies are discussed.
Zhang, Y., Yue, Z., Chen, F., Yang, X., & Kwak, N. (in press). How a peripheral ideology becomes mainstream: strategic performance, audience response, and media amplification in the case of QAnon Twitter accounts. New Media and Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448221137324
Sexual media and behaviors
Sexual content is prevalent across a wide range of media programs. In this chapter, we introduce the types, topics, and prevalence of sexuality-related content in a variety of media genres/platforms, then review the literature on the relationship between adolescents’ engagement in media sexual content and their sexual attitudes and behaviors. Note that a line of research shows a positive relationship between the use of sexual media and risky sexual behaviors, which calls for collective efforts from parents, educators, researchers, and adolescents themselves to promote healthy sexual practices. Importantly, we also reviewed research that identified opportunities to leverage the power of media to encourage healthy sexual behaviors among adolescents.
Yue, Z. (2022). Sexual media and behaviors. In Reference Module in Biomedical Research. Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-818872-9.00189-8
Media literacy and digital citizenship
Media literacy is an essential discipline for all students in the 21st century, where digital technologies reign. While the concept of media literacy has shifted and changed over nearly a century, the most current iteration, blurred with digital literacy, focuses on the capacity to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and think critically about the messages in media and the forces behind its construction. It also requires the skills to examine and appraise the individual user’s own motivations and intentions, and understand the ways that online behaviors can have positive and negative impacts on other people and the world at large. These latter skills comprise the concept of digital citizenship, which, in recent years, has risen to the forefront of many scholars’ focus, prompted by the rise of social media, misinformation, and socio-political movements in online spaces. This chapter explores the intersection of media literacy and digital citizenship by providing an overview of definitions and theory behind various approaches to education on the subjects, the current climate in the United States and globally, the efficacy of interventions covering a range of specific topics (advertising, violence, body image, sourcing), and areas where more support is needed. Directions for future research and initiatives are discussed.
Hunt, E. A. (2022). Media literacy and digital citizenship. In Reference Module in Biomedical Research. Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-818872-9.00144-8
Adolescent Social Media Use and Mental Health: A Personal Social Media Use Framework
A number of factors have impaired researchers’ ability to evidence how, when, and under which conditions social media relates to adolescents’ mental health. For example, the rapid growth and changes in the social media landscape make measuring social media use difficult, and individuals use social media platforms and features of platforms in unique patterns. Notwithstanding these challenges, a great deal of progress has been made in uncovering key empirical insights that have contributed to theory building in how social media effects among youth are understood. In this chapter, we review extant research on social media effects and adolescent mental health, focusing specifically on adolescent development and mental disorders, in line with the Personal Social Media Ecosystem Framework (PSMEF), and review how existing research maps onto this framework in ways that can inform on later iterations of social media itself. We end by offering directions for future research that will help to delineate the ways through which social media affects adolescents’ mental health.
Cingel, D. P., Carter, M. C., & Taylor, L. B. (2022). Adolescent Social Media Use and Mental Health: A Personal Social Media Use Framework. In The Social Media Debate (pp. 170-186). Routledge.
Social media use in the context of the Personal Social Media Ecosystem Framework
The rapid proliferation and maturation of social media platforms have led to numerous challenges in understanding the correlates of social media use among users. To advance this research, the present article proposes a new way to think about social media with the Personal Social Media Ecosystem Framework (PSMEF). This perspective defines social media as a user-centric digital environment made up of a central set of individual, yet interrelated digital spaces (e.g., in-app pages) that are themselves embedded within a broader ecology (e.g., operating system, the Internet, offline contexts). By leveraging the PSMEF and data from focus groups involving adolescent participants (N = 59), we identify a core subset of salient environmental contexts within participants’ PSMEs that can generalize across platforms, which are differentially associated with popular social media platforms. The theoretical and practical implications of this work are discussed.
Carter, M. C., Cingel, D. P., Ruiz, J. B., & Wartella, E. (2022). Social media use in the context of the Personal Social Media Ecosystem Framework. Journal of Communication. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqac038
Social media and self-esteem
The relationship between social media and self-esteem is complex, as studies tend to find a mixed pattern of relationships and meta-analyses tend to find small, albeit significant, magnitudes of statistical effects. One explanation is that social media use does not affect self-esteem for the majority of users, while small minorities experience either positive or negative effects, as evidenced by recent research calculating person-specific within-person effects. This suggests that the true relationship between social media use and self-esteem is person-specific and based on individual susceptibilities and uses. In recognition of these advancements, we review recent empirical studies considering differential uses and moderating variables in the social media–self-esteem relationship, and conclude by discussing opportunities for future social media effects research.
Cingel, D. P., Carter, M. C., & Krause, H.-V. (2022). Social media and self-esteem. Current Opinion in Psychology, 45, 101304. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2022.101304