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This study examined media exposure as an explanatory factor for individual and cross-national differences in self-assessed general health. In studying media exposure, traditional media (television, radio, and newspapers) and contemporary media (internet) were separately considered. Aside from hypotheses about the relation between media exposure and general health, we also tested hypotheses regarding the mediating role of social isolation and mean world syndrome as well as the moderating role of different media systems across countries. Therefore, we used European Social Survey 2010, covering 25 European countries (n = 36,692). The results of our multilevel regression analyses indicated that exposure to television was negatively related to general health, whereas exposure to radio and newspapers were positively related to health. For contemporary media, findings indicated consistent positive relations between internet exposure and health across. Furthermore, limited support was found for the mediating role of social isolation and the mean world syndrome in the link between media exposure and health. Across media systems, findings for the relations between exposure to the various types of media and health proved to be robust.
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- Media Exposure and Health in Europe: Mediators and Moderators of Media Systems
Reneé van der Zanden
- Springer Netherlands
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