This chapter underscores the conclusion that mass media can promote both positive and risky development. Advertising and other content encourages a culture of youthful hedonism that directly contradicts the persistence needed to complete increasingly extended educational requirements and transition to adulthood. The distinction between adulthood and adolescence has become blurred, as in advertising that promotes sexy clothing to pre-teen girls but at the same time sells adult women baby-doll outfits. Media literacy training may protect young people from adverse effects, but this approach has not been rigorously tested. Nevertheless, youth with serious impulse-control problems may be vulnerable to problematic media content. As a result, further restrictions on tobacco and alcohol advertising are warranted along with more effective warnings about violence in the media. Media reflect not only who we are, but who we want to be. Problematic media will have costs for us all.
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