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Role of Global Media Use on Adolescent Development in South Africa
Unformatted Document Text:  Global Media Use in South Africa X] finding a more reliable measure of cognitive maturity than mere age, proved to be inconsistent in their efficiency. Self-identity exploration, asking if the use of television persuaded one to explore one’s own cultural heritage and values, was found to be significantly related to the fulfillment of socialization tasks through media use by South African teenagers. However, the commitment measures, asking how important it is to be a South African or a teenager, may have been too broad and generic to be effective. The frequency distribution of measures show most respondents answering either “important” or “very important” on 5-point scales. While the measures should not be too specific as to be unreliable, the questions that are closer to the issues surrounding teenagers might be recommended in future studies. The time spent watching television (yesterday and past Saturday) was used as the indicator of media use in this study. However, while media use is considered equal to the time spent viewing, listening, and reading media content, what it means substantially is often unclear. Does mere exposure count as media use or is attention a necessary element in certain contexts? When one simply asks respondents how much time they spent watching television, for instance, media use and exposure would be interchangeable terms. On the other hand, the term viewing or monitoring (Comstock & Scharrer, 2001) is often used to properly denote attentive exposure to the media that would lead to active information processing, effects, and learning. While one could design a study to differentiate exposure and monitoring in hopes of increasing validity of the media use measures being used, it should not easily be concluded that a low involvement with the media (i.e. little or no attention being paid) would certainly

Authors: Lee, Anselm.
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Global Media Use in South Africa
X]
finding a more reliable measure of cognitive maturity than mere age, proved to be
inconsistent in their efficiency. Self-identity exploration, asking if the use of television
persuaded one to explore one’s own cultural heritage and values, was found to be
significantly related to the fulfillment of socialization tasks through media use by South
African teenagers. However, the commitment measures, asking how important it is to be a
South African or a teenager, may have been too broad and generic to be effective. The
frequency distribution of measures show most respondents answering either “important” or
“very important” on 5-point scales. While the measures should not be too specific as to be
unreliable, the questions that are closer to the issues surrounding teenagers might be
recommended in future studies.
The time spent watching television (yesterday and past Saturday) was used as the
indicator of media use in this study. However, while media use is considered equal to the
time spent viewing, listening, and reading media content, what it means substantially is
often unclear. Does mere exposure count as media use or is attention a necessary element in
certain contexts? When one simply asks respondents how much time they spent watching
television, for instance, media use and exposure would be interchangeable terms. On the
other hand, the term viewing or monitoring (Comstock & Scharrer, 2001) is often used to
properly denote attentive exposure to the media that would lead to active information
processing, effects, and learning.
While one could design a study to differentiate exposure and monitoring in hopes of
increasing validity of the media use measures being used, it should not easily be concluded
that a low involvement with the media (i.e. little or no attention being paid) would certainly


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