Measuring Children's Media Use in the Digital Age: Issues and Challenges

Am Behav Sci. 2009 Apr 1;52(8):1152-1176. doi: 10.1177/0002764209331539.


In this new and rapidly changing era of digital technology, there is increasing consensus among media scholars that there is an urgent need to develop measurement approaches which more adequately capture media use The overarching goal of this paper is facilitate the development of measurement approaches appropriate for capturing children's media use in the digital age. The paper outlines various approaches to measurement, focusing mainly on those which have figured prominently in major existing studies of children's media use. We identify issues related to each technique, including advantages and disadvantages. We also include a review of existing empirical comparisons of various methodologies. The paper is intended to foster discussion of the best ways to further research and knowledge regarding the impact of media on children.