Media's influence on violence and deviant behaviors among youth
This thesis examined media influence on violence, alcohol and drug use among youth by analyzing data from the "The National Survey on Drug Use and Health," 2007. This large-scale survey provided self-reported data on deviant behaviors of 17,827 youth, ages 12 to 17 years. The dependency theory, along with other social learning theories were used to explain the influence of social and environmental factors, such as gender, socio-economic status, societal views, on deviant youth behavior. The study revealed significance as youth reporting parents limiting the amount of media exposure were less likely to engage in violent behavior. In addition, youth who participated in drug prevention media were less likely to engage in self-reported use of alcohol and drugs in the past year. Findings are beneficial for public health providers as it uncovered social influences on behavioral outcomes and the need to strengthen parental monitoring of media, particularly for males who have a higher prevalence of aggressive behavior. The study results can be used to guide policy and develop programs to educate parents, youth, community stakeholders, and decision makers on media effects and youth deviant behavior.