Media Involvement and Maternal Communication Effects on Emerging Adults' Acceptance of the Traditional Sexual Script
Kistler, Michelle Eileen
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Little research examines the combined effects of media and parenting, particularly among emerging adults who are not university undergraduates. Cognitive involvement with media in combination with maternal communication style and their impact on acceptance of elements of the traditional sexual script were assessed using a web-based survey of 464 community and technical college students in the State of Washington. Gender schema theory and the media process model were used as theoretical frameworks. The analysis also controlled for the propensity to give socially desirable answers. Results were mixed. Outcomes included objectification of one's own body, objectification of women, acceptance of the sexual double standard, and acceptance of the notion of women's token resistance to sex. For most outcomes, one or more media involvement and maternal communication variables informed the outcomes. The exception was for objectification of women, in which only media involvement variables were significant. In general, greater media involvement related to negative outcomes, as did socio-oriented communication and positive mediation styles. Concept-orientation and negative mediation, however, related to more positive outcomes. Results reinforce message interpretation and media process model literature in relation to expectancy-based outcomes. The findings suggest a need for family-centered communication education and media literacy training, in addition to the advancement of psychometrically sound scales for the family communication, mediation, and outcome variables.