You are here

Role of Mass Media Related Risk Factors in Predicting Sexually Risky Intentions and Behaviors Among Adolescents

Title: The Role of Mass Media Related Risk Factors in Predicting Sexually Risky Intentions and Behaviors Among Adolescents: A Model of Sexual Risk Taking.
Name(s): Sarkar, Madhurima, author
Heald, Gary, professor directing dissertation
Eberstein, Isaac, university representative
Mayo, John, committee member
Lustria, Mia, committee member
Cortese, Juliann, committee member
School of Communication, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Although a number of studies have demonstrated the effects of mass media on various behaviors the systematic process of examining media related risk factors in sexual health behavior models has not been fully explored. This study offers a rationale, and several propositions and hypotheses for a more inclusive model of sexual risk taking integrating two mass media-related variables with five traditional health risks factors that appear in the current literature. The study also explores gender differences among the proposed relationships in the model. The study tests the proposed integrated model using a secondary analysis via structural equation statistical methods applied to the Teen Media and Health Survey data. The final model supported relationships that were hypothesized based on a rationale linking several mass communication and health-related behavior theories. Findings from this study suggest that sexual intentions that are risky are strong predictor of self-reported sexual behaviors that are risky. In addition, permissive attitudes regarding sex, perceptions of peer norms that are risky, and sexual self efficacy also predict sexual intentions that are risky. This results from the study futher support the utility of impulsive decision making and sensation seeking when predicting sexual risks. The current model and study results indicate that overall exposure to mass media was a significant antecedent of adolescents' perceptions that media messages encourage sexual behaviors. Perceptions that media messages encourage sexual behaviors is also succesfully used to predict adolescent's permissive attitudes regarding sex, their perceptions of peer norms that are risky, and the adolsecents' perceptions of sexual self efficacy. The overall model is also tested in separate male/female models to examine the potential generality of the model across gender subgroups. The results indicate more similarities than differences in sexual risk taking among males and females. One notable difference is the path from mass media exposure to perceptions that media messages encourage sexual behaviors, which is appreciably stronger among females than among males. Another notable difference is that the pathway from sexual intentions that are risky to sexual behaviors that are risky, which again is stronger among females than among males. There are several implications for interventions that arise from this study. Media exposure and perceptions of sexuality through media play an important role in adolescents' attitudes, norms and perceptions of self efficacy. Parents, educators, health practitioners should discuss with adolescents the content of popular mass media, along with the ways that the popular media influence young audiences. Parents, teachers and health practitioners need to pay particular attention to creating messages that can combat the information that adolescent receive from mass media about sex and sexual behaviors. The most important implication may be that adults in U.S. society should take children's exposure to media seriously, pay attention to what their children are viewing and to become active in their communities advocating for more socially responsible media. A concerted effort can be made to reduce sexual innuendos, images and portrayals in the media.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-2074 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Computer Science in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2011.
Date of Defense: November 18, 2010.
Keywords: Media theories, health theories, Integrated health model
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Gary Heald, Professor Directing Dissertation; Isaac Eberstein, University Representative; John Mayo, Committee Member; Mia Lustria, Committee Member; Juliann Cortese, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Communication
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Sarkar, M. (2011). The Role of Mass Media Related Risk Factors in Predicting Sexually Risky Intentions and Behaviors Among Adolescents: A Model of Sexual Risk Taking. Retrieved from