Skip to main content


Brown, Jane D. & Witherspoon, Elizabeth M. (2002). The Mass Media and American Adolescents' Health. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31(6 Suppl. 1), 153-170.


American teens today grow up in a world saturated with the mass media. In general, the media depict a world in which unhealthy behaviors such as physical aggression, unprotected sex, smoking, and drinking are glamorous and risk-free. We summarize what is known about the media's effects on four adolescent health issues that have been studied most comprehensively: violence and aggression; sex; obesity, nutrition, and eating disorders; and alcohol and tobacco use. A number of approaches that have potential for helping turn the media into more positive forces for adolescents' health are discussed


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Adolescent Health


Brown, Jane D.
Witherspoon, Elizabeth M.