Mass Media In Adolescence

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Mass media is defined by Sullivan as “the channels of communication in modern societies that can reach large numbers of people, sometimes instantaneously” (as cited in Dean 2010 para.15). It has the technical capacity to provide information to reach a very large number of persons through electronic means such as the television and radio for example and print media which includes newspapers and magazines. The media disseminates a number of messages about identity and acceptable forms of self-expression, gender, sexuality, and lifestyle. According to Boeree (2006), the studies carried out by the psychologist Erik Erikson described the stages through which individuals must pass through in human development, and in each stage requires a development task which he called ‘crises’. In the Fifth Stage called adolescence the crisis faced is the identity versus identity confusion, which occurs during early to middle adolescence where a struggle develops to find a balance between developing a unique, individual identity while still being socially accepted. During this period individuals must determine who are they and how they want persons to view them, and by successfully overcoming this crisis can formulate their own self-identity. However when this crisis is failed adolescents are uncertain of who they are and become socially separated from others but according to Roberts, Henriksen, & Foehr (2004), “adolescents use mass media as a means of attaining personal identity where it
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