Emerging Adulthood and Media Use: Latest Research and Future Directions

Martina Benvenuti, University of Bologna
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Clark University
Elvis Mazzoni, University of Bologna


Emerging adults worldwide (ages 18-29) are recognized to be the largest active group of media users, for a number of reasons. First, media use is vital to emerging adults because during this life stage they face many transitions (e.g., school to university or work, leaving their parents' household) and they need to use media to have information about new opportunities and problems. Further, they use social media constantly to stay in touch with their existing social networks and to construct new ones in the new contexts. Currently, most media research lacks a developmental foundation. The aims of this special issue are, on the one hand, to integrate the developmental perspective of emerging adulthood into research on media use and, on the other, assemble papers on media use in relation to emerging adults' psychological, social, and cognitive development.