Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 216

Full Length Research Paper

Media usage profile of adolescents in varied economic background

Maheshwar Mekam
  • Maheshwar Mekam
  • Extension and Training Division, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India.
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Sylvia Fernandez Rao
  • Sylvia Fernandez Rao
  • Extension and Training Division, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India.
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Jagdish Buwade
  • Jagdish Buwade
  • Extension and Training Division, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India.
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Narender Karnam
  • Narender Karnam
  • Department of Communication and Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.
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Balakrishna Nagalla
  • Balakrishna Nagalla
  • Statistics Division, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India.
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  •  Received: 09 August 2020
  •  Accepted: 25 March 2021
  •  Published: 31 May 2021

Abstract

Media plays an important role in social development and teenagers are the future of the society. This study made an attempt to elicit responses from teenagers on media content by projecting questions such as; what kind of content are teenagers viewing/reading mostly? What are their favourite programmes; Do they search for any information about nutrition and health related matters? What is the primary source of information for teenagers about health and nutrition?; and how do they spend their leisure-time? This cross-sectional study adopted stratified random sampling from three types of economic groups using a self-administered questionnaire as a tool for data collection. Results revealed that parents and Internet are serving as primary source of health and nutrition information for teenagers. Teenagers of poor families’ have low access to Internet, which manifests the glaring ‘digital divide’. Contrary to this, boys of poor families watching porn visuals is significantly highest compared to all strata of boys and girls, which clearly indicates the misuse of Internet by boys of poor families. This study recommends that parents, the media, health practitioners and policy makers, among others look into possible ways of increasing the benefits and reducing the harm that media can have on the development of children and adolescents.

 

Key words: Mass media, teenagers, economic background, digital divide, health and nutrition information.