Adolescents and Music Media: Toward an Involvement-Mediational Model of Consumption and Self-Concept


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Using social cognitive theory and structural regression modeling, we examined pathways between early adolescents' music media consumption, involvement with music media, and 3 domains of self-concept (physical appearance, romantic appeal, and global self-worth; N=124). A mediational model was supported for 2 domains of self-concept. Music media consumption was positively associated with adolescents' involvement with media focusing on music personae. Higher involvement was associated with perceiving the self as less physically attractive and having lower overall self-worth. Music media consumption was directly related to adolescents' evaluations of their own romantic appeal. Results suggest that through involvement processes with music media characters, adolescents may use music media as a venue for social comparison against which they evaluate their own physical attractiveness and self-worth. Music media consumption may also provide social modeling for normative expectations about romantic relationships regardless of the level of involvement. Gender differences were nonsignificant in the mediational model.