Does Media Literacy Affect Distress?




Torres, Joseph Antonio

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News media literacy enables individuals to be critical consumers of information distributed by media sources. This study uses existing measurement scales for exploratory research on news media literacy and its effects on distress—depression, anxiety, and stress. With the rise of digital media, political participation (on social media, online, and offline) has become more mainstream. Consequently, it is necessary to determine if the rise in political participation is related to an individual’s level of news media literacy. Additionally, this study investigates the impact that news media literacy has on the perceived accuracy of media. A regression analysis is proposed to analyze the strength of any relationship discovered and their respective level of impact. News media literacy is used as a moderator for political participation and the perceived accuracy of media; an inquiry into their relationship with distress is conducted. The practical and theoretical implications of this research are also discussed.


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anxiety, distress, literacy, media literacy, news media, social media