Homeschooling Teen

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Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds

Media such as such as smart phones, computers, TV, and video games are a powerful force in the lives of tweens and teens. A national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that with technology allowing nearly 24-hour media access as children and teens go about their daily lives, the amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically over the past decade.

According to the study, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). And because they spend so much of that time “media multitasking” (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7½ hours.

“Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds” is the third in a series of large-scale, nationally representative surveys by the Foundation about young people’s media use. It includes data from all three waves of the study (1999, 2004, and 2009), and is among the largest and most comprehensive publicly available sources of information about media use among American youth.

The report is based on a survey conducted among a nationally representative sample of 2,002 3rd-12th grade students ages 8-18, including a self-selected subsample of 702 respondents who completed seven-day media use diaries, which were used to calculate multitasking proportions. The report was released on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at a forum in Washington, D.C., that featured the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, media executives, and child development experts.

Click here for a summary of the report findings. The full report, webcast, related materials and video are available online.

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