Individual Submission Summary

Direct link:

Guilty Pleasure No More: The Relative Importance of Media Use for Coping With Stress

Mon, May 29, 15:30 to 16:45, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo 204A


Despite the substantial attention paid to stress management in the coping literature, media use has been surprisingly overlooked in this context. Media scholarship on this issue has also been sporadic and, until recently, disconnected from the larger conversation about stress management. The present research investigated the relative value of media use compared to the range of stress coping strategies. Across two samples (students and breast cancer patients), media use emerged as one of the most frequently selected strategies to manage stress across numerous individual difference variables. Further, heavier television consumers and those with higher perceived stress evidenced elevated use of media for coping purposes. Finally, coping-driven media use was seen as an effective stress management tool on par with other popular strategies. This research documents the centrality of media use in the corpus of stress management techniques, highlighting the value of inquiry into media-based coping. Future research directions are discussed.