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A study explored how children make decisions to use radio. Thirty 8-9 year olds were interviewed in depth and 71 9-12 year olds filled out a questionnaire. Results indicated that children were capable of describing their radio listening behavior on a day-to-day basis, and that listening processes appeared to be similar to that reported in studies of adult listening behavior. Findings provide support for the notion that children are capable of making their own decisions concerning media and are being allowed by parents to practice this autonomy. The listening process of children also appears to support social learning theory, which suggests that children use radio for social purposes and are dependent on radio to enable them to "fit in" with their elementary school friends. More research concerning children and their media activities is essential if educators are to deal with children and media consumption and learning in a knowledgeable manner. (Contains 52 references and a table of data. The questionnaire is attached.) (RS)

Descriptors: Audience Analysis, Children, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Listening Habits, Mass Media Use, Media Research, Pilot Projects, Radio, Research Needs

Autor: Renaud, Jerry; Mitchell, Nancy


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