Adolescents’ TV Viewing Patterns in the Digital Era: a Cross-cultural Study
Keywords:Television, adolescents, viewing habits, television genre, parental mediation, values, family climate, cultural context
The deep-rooted changes that have taken place in the media world over recent years have brought about changes in both television itself and in the relationships established with this medium. Consequently, it is important to understand how young people watch television today, in order to design strategies to help them develop the capacities they require to ensure responsible use. With this aim, the present study analyzes the television viewing habits of 553 adolescents (267 boys and 286 girls), aged between 14 and 19, from Ireland, Spain and Mexico. Through the implementation of two questionnaires (CH-TV 0.2 and VAL-TV 0.2), four viewing patterns were detected that can be generalized to all the contexts studied. Two of these patterns clearly distinguish between boys (critical-cultural) and girls (social-conversational), with boys viewing more cultural and information-oriented programs, and girls tending to watch shows with a view to talking about them later with their friends. Two of the variables which best distinguish between the other two patterns identified are the perception of a conflictive climate (conflictive-passive viewing) and the perception of responsible parental mediation (committed-positive viewing). Moreover, preferred television genre was found to be the factor with the greatest discriminatory power in relation to these patterns, while time spent watching television, perceived realism and cultural context were not found to be significant..