Publication Date

Summer 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Child and Adolescent Development


Kim Tsai


adolescences, media, parenting styles, self-esteem

Subject Areas

Individual & family studies; Developmental psychology; Behavioral sciences


The present study investigated how parenting styles influence adolescents’ risky media usage and how these associations vary according to media-specific parenting practices and adolescent characteristics. Participants included 315 adolescents aged 13-18 in the United States, who completed questionnaires on parenting styles (i.e., authoritative, authoritarian, permissive), media-specific parenting practices (i.e., active conversational practices, coercive monitoring, preventive practices), and their depression, self-esteem, and risky media usage. Findings indicated all three parenting styles were associated with adolescent exposure to risk through media, but only authoritarian and permissive were related to internet addiction. Across parenting styles, adolescents with parents who engaged in high compared to low levels of conversational practices were at greatest risk for internet addiction. Furthermore, greatest risk exposure through media was evident among adolescents with authoritarian and permissive parents who engaged in high levels of conversational practices and among adolescents with permissive parents who engaged in high levels of coercive monitoring. Adolescents with most depressive symptoms, who were at greater risk for internet addiction, had permissive and authoritarian parents. In contrast, across parenting styles, adolescents with high self-esteem were less likely to have risky media usage. The present study highlights the importance of examining parental influences in conjunction with adolescents' characteristics in order to best understand the risk and protective factors for adolescent risky media usage.