Intergenerational food-focused media literacy in Jamaica

Michelle R. Nelson, Rachel Powell, Cagla Giray, Gail M. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Media use has been linked to unhealthy eating, but there is evidence that parent discussion about media and media literacy can inoculate against negative media effects. Therefore, we examined the relationships between mothers' food-focused media literacy and their discussions about media and their adolescents' food-focused media literacy in a survey of 82 mother-adolescent dyads in Jamaica, a middle-income country where obesity is rising. As expected, mothers' food-focused media literacy was both greater than and positively related to their adolescents' food-focused media literacy. The nature of the discussion (i.e., emotional intensity) about the time adolescents spent using media (TV, computer/electronics) positively related to adolescents' media literacy. This study contributes to understanding how mothers may shape their adolescent's media literacy and underscores the importance of considering parent-adolescent discussions for food-focused media literacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Media Literacy Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 21 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data were collected when Gail M. Ferguson and Cagla Giray were at Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center (#R21TW010440). Special thanks also to participating families, the research assistants, and the Caribbean Child Development Center at the University of the West Indies, Open Campus, Jamaica for contributing to this research project.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2020 Author(s). This is an open access, peer-reviewed article published by Bepress and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. JMLE is the official journal of NAMLE.


  • Intergenerational influence
  • Jamaica
  • Media discussion
  • Media literacy
  • Remote acculturation


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