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A comprehensive, research-oriented background to the developmental impact of the varied interactions children and adolescents have with the modern media. The approach is grounded in the media-effects tradition. The authors target areas most controversial and at the heart of debates about mass media and public health, thus equipping students to approach the media as critical consumers. Each chapter provides the latest research and seminal studies on such issues as advertising, violence, video games, sexuality, drugs, body image and eating disorders, music, and the Internet. Because research alone can be dry and difficult to follow, each chapter is liberally sprinkled with illustrations, examples from the media, cartoons and other illustrations, policy debates, and real-life instances of media impact. Also found throughout are sections on media literacy and recommendations for how students can help in the search for solutions to current media-related problems. The Third Edition includes new chapters illustrating beneficial aspects of the media, including possibilities for encouraging pro-social development and educational media.