Hearing and Talking to the Other Side: Antecedents of Cross-Cutting Exposure in Adolescents

Porismita Borah, Stephanie Edgerly, Emily K. Vraga, Dhavan V. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Although scholars have enthusiastically examined the outcomes of cross-cutting exposure, few studies have explored its antecedents. Moreover, most studies have attended to adults. But it is during adolescence and early adulthood that citizens are most likely to be socialized into valuing and engaging in heterogeneous discussion. The present study employs a panel survey of American adolescents, age 12 to 17, to examine the predictive power of home, school, and media use variables on two outcomes related to valuing and talking to the other side. Our findings demonstrate that adolescents' attitudes toward valuing cross-cutting exposure as well as indulging in heterogeneous talk are consistently predicted by concept-oriented home environment and school curriculum. Among the media variables, cable news negatively and newspaper and online news positively influenced our outcome variables. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-416
Number of pages26
JournalMass Communication and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1The collection of the data presented here was undertaken by a consortium of communication and political science faculty from six major universities: University of Arkansas (Todd Shields and Robert Wicks), University of Kansas (David Perlmutter), University of Michigan (Erika Franklin Fowler), University of Missouri (Esther Thorson), University of Texas (Dustin Harp and Mark Tremayne), and University of Wisconsin (Barry Burden, Ken Goldstein, Hernando Rojas, and Dhavan Shah). Shah organized this team of scholars and served as the principal investigator for this survey panel. These researchers are grateful for the support received from the following sources: The Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics at the University of Arkansas; the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program at the University of Michigan; the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri; the University of Texas Office of the Vice President for Research; and the Hamel Faculty Fellowship, the Graduate School, and the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the supporting sources or participating faculty.


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