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Unformatted text preview: Distorted Reflections: Media Exposure and Latino Adolescents Conceptions of Self Roco Rivadeneyra Illinois State University L. Monique Ward University of Michigan Maya Gordon TAGA Consulting Because Latinos are underrepresented and often negatively stereotyped in the media, concern is frequently expressed that repeated exposure to these portrayals may re- flect poorly on Latino adolescentsself-esteem. To test this issue empirically, we con- ducted 2 studies examining associations between multiple dimensions of self-esteem and several forms of media use. Testing 40 Latino high school students in Study 1, we found that more frequent and more active TV viewing was associated with lower so- cial and appearance self-esteem. Many of these general patterns were replicated in Study 2 with 115 college students and with several demographic controls. Additional analyses of possible moderators revealed more consistent negative correlations among women and among participants with a stronger Latino ethnic identity. To- gether, these findings provide powerful evidence of a potential link between media use and the self-conceptions of Latino youth. Evidence accumulated over the past 3 decades indicates that television exposure has a far-reaching impact on young audiences. With its appealing visual images, dynamic character portrayals, and provocative messages, television has emerged as a powerful agent of socialization, shaping adolescents knowledge, attitudes, MEDIA PSYCHOLOGY, 9, 261290 Copyright 2007, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Roco Rivadeneyra, Department of Psychology, Illinois State University, Campus Box 4620, Normal, IL 61790-4620, E-mail: rrivade@ ilstu.edu. and beliefs about the world. Its social lessons are not always benevolent, however. Indeed, a growing body of research indicates that frequent exposure to television is associated with increased aggression and tolerance of aggression (e.g., Bushman & Huesmann, 2001), stereotypical attitudes about gender and sexuality (e.g., Rivadeneyra & Ward, 2005; Signorielli, 2001; Ward, 2003), distorted perceptions of real world roles (e.g., Buerkel-Rothfuss & Mayes, 1981; Carveth & Alexander, 1985), and poor body image (e.g., Botta, 1999; Tiggeman & Pickering, 1996). Moreover, because television teaches not only by what it shows, but also by what it does not show (Clark, 1972; Potter, 1991), concern is frequently expressed that the lack of representation of various social groups, such as ethnic minorities, might negatively affect young viewers. Might minority youth come to feel badly about themselves as a consequence of exposure to material that seldom includes them?...
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This note was uploaded on 07/14/2011 for the course JOU 455 taught by Professor Cotton during the Spring '11 term at Kentucky.
- Spring '11