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Research Article Open Access

Why Do Children and Adolescents Consume So Much Media? An Examination Based on Self-Determination Theory

Abstract

Use of media in general and of new media in particular, by children concerns many researchers and parents. Children and adolescents are exposed to an extensive range of communication channels and a variety of media. In this study, we used self-determination theory to examine why children and adolescents consume so much media. This is a mixed-method study. A total of 345 participants from Israel completed questionnaires; 90 children and teenagers were interviewed. Findings suggest that children and adolescents consume media because they feel that it meets their various needs, some of which are not being met in another environment, and each time choose the media that meet their specific needs, in the process of informed consumption. For example, to surf the Internet, they prefer a particular medium, PC or smartphone, or tablet over other medium, according to the ability of each medium to offer the specific content they are looking.

Gila Cohen Zilka

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