Growing Up With Media

Discovering How Technology Impacts Public Health

Growing Up With Media


Existing literature suggests linkages between violence in television and games and aggressive behavior. Less is known about how this extends to new media, especially the Internet; and also whether this extends beyond aggressive attitudes and behaviors to more serious forms of violence. To address this gap, Growing up with Media, a longitudinal survey of almost 1,600 youth between the ages of 10 and 15 years and their caregivers, began in 2006. Participants were randomly recruited from the Harris Panel OnLine (HPOL). Youth and parents were surveyed once a year for three years (also referred to as waves) through 2008. The resulting data provides a look into how exposure to violent media is related to externalizing behaviors, including seriously violent, delinquent, and aggressive behavior over time. National estimates of online experiences, including cyberbullying and unwanted sexual experiences, are also provided. This project was conducted in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Data were collected by Harris Interactive.

In 2010, the Growing up with Media study was extended for another three waves to study the etiology of sexual violence in adolescence with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual violence is a significant public health issue. The National Institutes of Justice estimate that over one million people are victims of rape and sexual assault each year, resulting in an annual $127 billion in associated victim costs. Although justice data suggests that sexual violence emerges in adolescence, very few national studies have been conducted to understand the factors that may increase a teen’s risk for becoming a perpetrator. As such, this study is paramount in that it is one of the first national longitudinal survey of youth designed to study the emergence of SV – including victims and perpetrators – in adolescence. Findings from this study, conducted between 2010 and 2012 with the original Growing up with Media cohort recruited in 2006, provide a rich resource of information about how sexual violence emerges. Data will provide clues for risk factors that can be targeted in future intervention and prevention efforts. Data were collected by Harris Interactive.

In 2015, the Growing up with Media study was extended for three additional waves with funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. To further our knowledge of how SV emerges in adolescence and continues through young adulthood, we will continue to follow the existing Growing up with Media cohort for another three years, between 2016-2018. To increase the number of perpetrators surveyed at younger ages when the behaviors are likely to emerge, we will also recruit a new cohort of 1,600 youth 14-15 years of age. Study findings will provide the national data necessary to close the gaps in our understanding of how and why SV perpetration emerges in adolescence, and in some cases extends into young adulthood. Data will be collected by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI).