Date of Award

Spring 1988

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Griffin, Robert

Second Advisor

Thorn, William

Abstract

Employing a uses and gratifications approach to religious media use by Catholic teenagers, this study examined the relationship between religiosity and exposure to religious media, and between religiosity and the gratifications sought therefrom. For the sake of this study, religiosity is conceived to be two-dimensional: committed (internal, personal or the faith dimension) and consensual (external, institutional or the ritual dimension). When the teens in the sample are grouped accordingly as they score high or low in these two dimensions, four cells emerge: committed members (high committed, high consensual); non-committed non-members (low committed, low consensual); non-committed members (low committed and high consensual); and committed non-members (high committed and low consensual). Survey questionnaires were administered to 409 teenagers in a Catholic high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in April 1986 and the responses were coded and fed to the mainframe computer at Marquette University. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences was used for establishing the reliability and validity of the instrument and for carrying out a number of tests, particularly ANOVA. The results of the study establish the following: committed members are the most likely users of religious media in general and for guidance and surveillance; non-committed non-members are the least likely users; the other two groups are moderate users of religious media in general and for guidance and surveillance. However, committed non-members use religious media for guidance more than non-committed members. Based on this study, this researcher proposes that a religious magazine be established catering specifically to Catholic teenagers. The results of the research offer sufficient theoretical basis to determine the content, the roles, the target audience, the tone and style of the proposed religious youth magazine.

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