Identifing the many positive benefits of media for children, but recognising that there are also areas of concern, this position statement discusses a broad range of potential psychological impacts of media on young people.
The scope of media has broadened dramatically over the last few decades, particularly with the advent of digital technology, and the resultant increase in exposure to media in all its forms. In addition to television, movies and newspapers, the vast array of electronic and digital forms of media allow for rapid access of information, gaming, and instant communication. Media can be accessed from an increasing number of different and often highly portable sources. This has created a climate in which there is rapid and potentially constant access to the digital world.
This statement seeks to identify the many positive benefits of media but recognises that there are areas of concern. Those working clinically with children, young people and their families and carers need to be aware of the range of issues that media impacts upon, in order to provide balanced and optimal advice and support. The Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (FCAP) has particular concerns regarding the impact of media on children and young people with identified mental health difficulties, but recognise all children are potentially vulnerable.