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date: 17 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Even though media platforms have multiplied in recent years, television viewing remains a prominent feature of the daily lives of emerging adults. The genres preferred and motivations for viewing are diverse, and many emerging adults report watching TV for relaxation, entertainment, and voyeurism. Despite their reasons for doing so, regular viewing of mainstream television content has many implications for emerging adults’ development. In this chapter, the authors review more than 150 studies that have examined television uses and effects among emerging adults. Overall, data gathered across both survey and experimental paradigms indicate significant effects in multiple domains, linking television exposure to higher levels of aggression, body dissatisfaction, alcohol consumption, sexualization of women, and the endorsement of racial, sexual, and gender stereotypes. The authors also review some positive effects on health beliefs and behaviors and discuss characteristics of the viewer and content that moderate these associations.

Keywords: television, emerging adulthood, media, TV, aggression, entertainment

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