Yi-Chun (Yvonnes) Chen and Erica Weintraub Austin
To provide a more complete picture of the existing state of knowledge regarding parental communication and media literacy in relation to substance use, this chapter discusses (1) parental mediation and its effects on children and adolescents, (2) relationships between parental communication and media literacy, and (3) how each factor (i.e., parental mediation and media literacy) relates to substance use. The chapter includes highlights from a survey that integrates parental communication and media literacy into substance use research among emerging adults. Findings suggest that negative active mediation is effective in fostering competency in media literacy into adulthood, whereas the passive activity of coviewing, the avoidance strategy of rulemaking and the reinforcement of message receptivity in positive mediation are weak or counterproductive influences for media literacy development. Deficiencies in media literacy can lead to risk-taking behaviors among adolescents and may exacerbate those behaviors when they reach emerging adulthood. It is suggested that future research should explore whether similar patterns emerge in other contexts, such as obesity, body image and Internet safety.
The omnipresent nature of the media, its sometimes questionable content, and its potentially harmful ...