A national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation — Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds

Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of seven hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week), compared with less than six and a half hours just five years ago — a conclusion that shocked the authors. And because they spend so much of that time “media multitasking” — for example, surfing the Internet while listening to music — they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those seven and one-half hours.
“This is a stunner,” said Donald F. Roberts, a Stanford communications professor emeritus, one of the authors of the study. “In the second report, I remember writing a paragraph saying we’ve hit a ceiling on media use, since there just aren’t enough hours in the day to increase the time children spend on media. But now it’s up an hour.”

The heaviest media users, the study found, are black and Hispanic youths and “tweens,” or those ages 11 to 14.

While most of the young people in the study got good grades, 47 percent of the heaviest media users — those who consumed at least 16 hours a day — had mostly C’s or lower, compared with 23 percent of those who typically consumed media three hours a day or less. The heaviest media users were also more likely than the lightest users to report that they were bored or sad, or that they got into trouble, did not get along well with their parents and were not happy at school. But, the study could not say whether the media use causes problems, or whether troubled youth turn to heavy media use.

[Study Results :: Kaiser Family Foundation]

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