An ecological perspective on the media and youth development

Susan M. McHale, Aryn Dotterer, Ji Yeon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


From an ecological perspective, daily activities are both a cause and a consequence of youth development. Research on youth activities directs attention to the processes through which daily activities may have an impact on youth, including (a) providing chances to learn and practice skills, (b) serving as a forum for identity development, (c) affording opportunities to build social ties, (d) connecting youth to social institutions, and (e) keeping youth from engaging in other kinds of activities. Youth's daily activities, in turn, both influence and are influenced by the multilayered ecology within which their lives are embedded, an ecology that ranges from the proximal contexts of everyday life (e.g., family, peer group) to the larger political, economic, legal, and cultural contexts of the larger society. The article concludes with consideration of methodological issues and directions for research on the media and youth development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1203
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'An ecological perspective on the media and youth development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this