Teens and the Media

There was a lot of pressure on teens while we were growing up. Nowadays, it seems like there are so much more pressures. There are also a lot of influences, other than adolescents’ peer group. For this activity, you are to interview two individuals about their opinions of the media nowadays, particularly its influence on adolescents (youths between the ages of 13 and 17). The two individuals can be two young adults, one young adult and one middle-aged adult, or two middle-aged adults. If you use two young adults, it would be helpful to interview individuals of different genders or ethnicities.

Ask your participants the following questions:

– Were they influenced by television shows when they were adolescents? If so, ask them to elaborate with a specific example. If one or both were not, ask him, her, or them why he, she, or they believe that he, she, or they were not influenced.

– Do they believe that adolescents are influenced by shows like Teen Mom?

– Why do they believe that shows like Teen Mom have or do not have an impact on adolescents nowadays?

– Do they believe that adolescents are more influenced by shows like Teen Mom than they were influenced by television shows as adolescents?

– What environmental influences had an effect on their behaviors as adolescents? Are these influences different for adolescents nowadays, and why or why not?

In a 2 to 3 page (double-spaced) essay, include the following components in your paper, along with your participants’ answers to the questions listed above:

1) Describe your participants (e.g., age, gender). (2 points)

2) Compare and contrast your interviewees’ responses. (8 points)

3) Discuss environmental influences on their behaviors as adolescents. (6 points)

4) Describe ways to improve adolescents’ development. (4 points)

Your essay should be between 2-3 pages, double-spaced. Title and references do not count toward the page total. Be sure to use at least one reference and one citation – your paper should be in APA style. It might be easy to incorporate the citation or citations when you compare and contrast your interviewees’ responses and/or describe ways to improve adolescents’ development. Failure to do so will result in point reductions.

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