Influence of print and electronic media on selected social behaviour and relationships among school going adolescents in Nairobi, Kenya
Mbogoh, Lenny J. Muthonl
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Media is said to influence the character of a child and adolescent in adulthood. Kenya has had a rapid expansion of media whose large proportions of features are western oriented. This study sought to find out the influence of print and electronic media on selected social behaviour and relationships of school going adolescents in Nairobi, Kenya from the adolescent's perspective. It sought to identify the types of media adolescents accessed and their media preference, investigate the extent to which media influences adolescents' fashion preference, establish the influence of media on peer and parent-adolescent relationship and establish the influence of media on drug consumption. A sample of 156 respondents in day secondary schools in Nairobi, Kenya was selected for the study. To them questionnaires were administered and three focus each comprising of 10 participants were carried out. Descriptive data analysis was done by use of the Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS). Pearson Product Moment Rank Correlation Coefficient was computed to test for the relationships between the variables. The data were presented in frequency tables, pie charts and graphs. The study revealed that the respondents mainly engaged in media related leisure activities with listening to music being the most popular activity. In the electronic media category, radio and television were reported to have been used more frequently. Time spent watching television was reported to have been the major cause of disagreements between the respondents and their parents. Relational focused media was highly preferred by the respondents. Consequently, media was reported to have positively influenced the respondents' relationships with their parents and peers. However, denial by parents to meet some purchase demands requested by the adolescents some of which were prompted by media welled up feelings like ( XVI betrayal, disappointment and anger in the respondents. Information on prevailing fashion trends was mainly sought from television and magazines. There was a positive Pearson Product Moment Relationship between respondents whoread novels and listened to radio and their supported for premarital sex. More boys than girls engaged in dating. Fashion preference was highly influenced by television and magazines. Peers, advertisements and movies were found out to significantly influence adolescents towards drug consumption. . The adolescents reported having liked to have developmental issues affecting them addressed by both their parents and media. They also reported having preferred censorshiplreduction of pornographic features in the media they accessed. Based on the findings of the study, Media is a good education tool available to the society. It can be used to effectively reach the adolescents given that most of the respondents engage in media related activities during their free time. Media slots targeted for adolescents would be more effective if they were done during music or comedy shows and movies. Music related approaches should be incorporated since listening to music was reported as the most engaged in leisure activity by a majority of adolescents. An explanation by parents to the adolescents on the underlying reasons that caused the parents to deny the respondents purchase requests would reduce parentadolescent conflicts on such issues. Also parents should try to keep their promises of purchase made to the adolescents.