Associations Between Parental Media Monitoring, Media Use, and Internalizing Symptoms During Adolescence


Although time spent using media has been linked to internalizing problems, few studies have explored the role that parents might play in these associations. The current study explored how controlling and autonomy-supportive restrictive and active parental media monitoring were associated with adolescents’ internalizing problems via time spent using media (media multitasking, social media, TV, video games, music, reading, texting, and Internet). The current study used data from a national study of teens aged 10–20 (N 1,193, 52% female, 68% White, 13% Black, 11% Latino). Results suggested that only autonomy-supportive restrictive media monitoring was associated with lower media use for both boys and girls on all platforms of media except reading. In turn, media multitasking was associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression, and social media use was associated with higher levels of anxiety. There were also a number of associations that varied as a function of adolescent sex. Discussion focuses on the links between parental media monitoring, media use, and adolescents’ internalizing symptoms.

Original Publication Citation

Padilla-Walker, L. M., Stockdale, L., & *McLean, R. (2020). Associations between parental media monitoring, media use, and internalizing symptoms during adolescence. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 9, 481-492.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Psychology of popular media




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor