DIGITAL MEDIA USE AND ADOLESCENT CHRISTIAN FORMATION: A CORRELATION STUDY
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SubjectDigital media -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
Christian education of teenagers.
Many schools, classrooms, and homes naively embrace the frequent use technology assuming its newness and apparent helpfulness must be utilized to live in the modern age. However, many fail to ask what effect the frequency and form of technological use is having on the Christian formation of adolescents. If one of the primary goals of Christian education is to promote Christian formation, this must be considered by all Christian educators as well. This research serves to demonstrate the effects of both the frequency and form of digital media use among adolescents and provide practical implications for Christian educators and families alike. Chapter 1 details the problem evident within American culture that has seen the use (and subsequent overuse) of digital media--specifically among adolescents. This chapter serves to demonstrate the need for research. Chapter 2 looks at the current literature base in regard to the frequency and form of digital media use among adolescents. Additionally, attention is given to the concept of Christian formation both in definition and in process. Finally, the relationship of digital media use to adolescent Christian formation is addressed based upon the precedent literature. The overall research design can be found in chapter 3 as it looks at the purpose, design overview, population, delimitations, and instrumentation. The use of the Faith Maturity Scale (FMS) was utilized alongside an additional quantitative look at the frequency and form of digital media use among adolescents. Special attention was given to students in Christian schools in the United States. Chapter 4 presents the research findings demonstrating nearly no correlation between the frequency and form of digital media use and the Christian formation of adolescents. Each area demonstrated no significant correlation coefficient worth noting. Specific areas worth noting specifically within the FMS are discussed as possibilities for future study. Chapter 5 analyzes the present dating noting the need for Christians to use various tools within God's creation (such as digital media) for good purposes just as was mandated in the Garden of Eden (Gen 1:28). The tools given are not what prohibit Christian formation. Rather, the applications of these tools by the human heart have the ability to produce both good and evil (Jer 17:9).