This study aims to shed light on whether adolescents' viewing of television programming which targets teens is related to their sexual beliefs and behavior. Using in-depth content analyses of television programming actually viewed by adolescents, this study will evaluate the direct effect on their sexual outcomes of 1) the amount and proportion of sexual content viewed, 2) contextual elements of sexual content viewed, and 3) the ways adolescent follow experience television they have viewed. To understand this relationship more fully, the study will evaluate effects for early, middle and late adolescents. The potential moderating effects of gender ideology and the relational contexts in which adolescents' television consumption occurs will also be examined. Television as a particular form of media has been selected, because it represents adolescents' most pervasive and consistent media exposure. The television programming which is most popular with adolescents will be the focus of the study. A two-cohort, two -wave panel study is proposed in two racially, ethnically and socio-economically diverse communities, both with relatively high teenage birth rates. Because sexual beliefs and behavior may be influenced by television consumption differently when adolescents' are younger and when they are more mature, the study will follow one cohort of eighth graders into tenth grade and another cohort of tenth graders into twelfth grade. The inclusion of multiple indicators to represent latent variable warrants the use of structural equation modeling. The role of television consumption in adolescents' sexual belief and behaviors will be described qualitatively. Through content analyses of focus groups, the ways in which adolescents make sense of the sexual content they view, the significance and meanings, which they attribute to this content, and their perceptions of how it affects their own sexual beliefs and decision about sexual behavior will be documented for early, middle and late adolescence.
|Tolman, Deborah L; Kim, Janna L; Schooler, Deborah et al. (2007) Rethinking the associations between television viewing and adolescent sexuality development: bringing gender into focus. J Adolesc Health 40:84.e9-16|