Sebastián Valenzuela, 1; Ingrid Bachmann, 1; and Marcela Aguilar, 1.
1 Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
Adolescence is a key period in the development of individuals’ news habits, but little is known about the processes involved in the process of news media socialization. This study proposes an integrated model in which the influence of family communication on motivations and behaviors of adolescents in relation to news consumption occurs through the development of personality traits related to information processing (namely, need for cognition and need to evaluate). Structural equation modeling of data from a representative survey of 2,273 adolescents, aged 13 to 17, provide support for the theorized model, such that concept-oriented communication within families is associated to news exposure indirectly, via personality traits and motivations. Thus, the study provides an initial assessment of one way children are socialized to become news enthusiasts and news avoiders. It also provides empirical evidence that information-processing traits are influenced by family communication patterns, confirming what hitherto was theoretical speculation.