“Media Time = Family Time” Positive Media Use in Families With Adolescents


media, adolescence, family, positive, qualitative, parenting


Media use in families has generally been examined from a narrow viewpoint, focusing on monitoring or co-viewing. The current research provides an expanded view of positive media use in families with adolescents by examining associations between diverse positive media use and family and adolescents outcomes. In addition, we used qualitative methods to provide a more comprehensive view of how families use media in positive ways, specifically drawing distinctions between traditional entertainment media and social media. Participants included 633 adolescents and their parents who completed a range of quantitative and qualitative measures on media use and adolescent and family outcomes. Results revealed that positive media use was positively associated with general family functioning (for girls), parental involvement (for both boys and girls), and adolescent disclosure to parents (for boys). Qualitative results revealed that families use media in diverse ways including for entertainment, emotional connection, discussion, information, and documentation. Results are discussed within the broad framework of family systems theory.

Original Publication Citation

Coyne, S. M., Padilla-Walker, L. M., *Fraser, A. M., *Fellows, K., & Day, R. D. (2014). “Media time = family time”: Positive media use in families with adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 29, 663-688.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Adolescent Research




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor