Print this page Share

Media and Youth: A Developmental Perspective

ISBN: 978-1-4443-1744-2
328 pages
February 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Media and Youth: A Developmental Perspective (144431744X) cover image


Media & Youth: A Developmental Perspective provides a comprehensive review and critique of the research and theoretical literature related to media effects on infants, children, and adolescents, with a unique emphasis on development.
  • The only textbook to evaluate the role of development in media effects research, filling a gap in the subject of children and media
  • Multiple forms of media, including internet use, are discussed for a comprehensive view of the subject
  • Developmental points of interest are highlighted at the end of each section to reinforce the importance of development in media effects research
  • Children’s cognitive, social, and emotional abilities from pre-school to adolescence are integrated into the text for greater clarity
See More

Table of Contents



1. Media in the Lives of Youth.

A Brief History of the Perceived Power of the Media.

Investigating Media Effects Across Development.

Media Ownership Across Development.

Media Consumption Across Development.

Why Youth Consume Media.

Developmental Points of Interest.

2. Media Effect Theories.

Socialization and Theory.

Hypodermic Needle or Magic Bullet Theory.

Excitation Transfer.

Cultivation Perspective.


Social Learning and Social Cognitive Theory.

Script Theory.

Universal Media Model.

Developmental Points of Interest.

3. Media and Academic Effects.

Is Media Consumption Detrimental to Academic Achievement?

The Benefits of Educational Media.

Music and Academic Achievement: Myth or Reality?

Developmental Points of Interest.

4. The Medical and Social Benefits of Media Use.

Pain Reduction Through Media-Based Distraction.

Additional Medical Benefits of Video Game Play and Virtual Reality.

The Behavioral Benefits of Prosocial Media.

The Psychological Benefits of the Internet.

Developmental Points of Interest.

5. Advertising, Consumer Behavior, and Youth.

Consumer Behavior Across Development.

Advertisements That Target Youth.

Advertisements That Are Not Supposed to Target Youth but Most Likely Do.

Developmental Points of Interest.

6. Media and Stereotyping.

The Nature of Stereotypes.

Stereotypes in the Media That Youth Consume.

Developmental Points of Interest.

7. Media Influences on Obesity, Body Image, and Eating Disorders.

Media Consumption and Body Weight.

Body Image and Media.

Thin-Ideal Media and Eating Disorders in Females.

Lean Muscularity and Muscle Dysmorphia in Males.

Developmental Points of Interest.

8. The Role of Media in Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use.

Prevalence of Cigarette, Alcohol, and Drug (CAD).

Use Across Development.

Outcomes Associated With Adolescent CAD Use.

Perceptions of CAD Use.

Prevalence of Substance Use in the Media.

Effects of Substance Use in the Media.

Developmental Points of Interest.

9. Media and the Sexualization and Sexual.

Socialization of Youth.

Sexualization and Sexual Socialization.

Sexual Media.

The Effects of Viewing Sexual Media on Adolescents.

Developmental Points of Interest.

10. Violent Media Part 1: Comic Books, Music, and Video Games.

A Brief Primer on Aggression.

Violent Comic Books.

Music Violence.

Violent Video Games.

Developmental Points of Interest.

11. Violent Media Part 2: Traditional Screen Media.

Violence in Traditional Screen Media.

Factors That Influence the Perception of Violence.

The Effects of On-Screen Violence on Youth.

Developmental Points of Interest.

12. Media Effects: Magnitude, Risk, and Media Literacy.


Risk, Protective, and Beneficial Factors.

Reducing the Negative Effects of Media Through Media.


Developmental Points of Interest.



See More

Author Information

Steven J. Kirsh is a Professor of Psychology at The State University of New York at Geneseo. Dr. Kirsh’s primary areas of research focus on the influence of violent media on emotion recognition and social information processing. He has published Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence: A Critical Look at the Research (2006), as well as numerous scientific articles and book chapters. 
See More


“Overall, I found this book a fascinating read about media effects across child and adolescent development.”  (Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), 1 July 2012)

"Kirsh provides a clearheaded and admirably comprehensive survey of the available evidence, discussing how youth consume media and how it affects them both positively and negatively as they grow up. A diverse range of topics are addressed from a developmental perspective, giving readers a good grounding in theory and findings alike. With his lucid writing style, clearly structured chapters and a slew of rather endearing personal anecdotes, Kirsch makes a labyrinthine subject remarkably navigable. He reveals that the areas most influenced by media are not necessarily what we might think." (The Psychologist, May 2011) 

"Young people today are immersed in the media, like fish in water. Finally, here is a textbook that describes the impact of media immersion on how young people think, feel, and behave. Rather than relying on anecdotes or hunches, Professor Kirsh uses the findings from scientific studies. The book is a must read for anyone concerned about the impact of the media on youth."
Brad J. Bushman, University of Michigan and VU University Amsterdam

"An excellent and easily readable book, written in an engaging style and using perfectly suited anecdotal examples to introduce new subjects on a diversity of media experiences and effects on children and adolescents today. A perfect overview for all interested readers, especially parents, teachers, and practitioners."
Ingrid Möller, University of Potsdam

See More
Back to Top