In a few words: media effects; media and youth; implications of media use for healthy romantic and sexual relationships; media and gendered violence; contributions of media use to gender and sexual socialization
In a few more words: For most people, fulfilling romantic and sexual relationships are a key component of overall well-being; by contrast, troubled relationships may be a source of considerable distress and thus threaten well-being. Consequently, the successful pursuit and negotiation of romantic and sexual relationships is of critical importance. My research seeks to understand the ways in which media may contribute to or hinder the development of healthy romantic and sexual relationships. In particular, my research is guided by two sets of questions: 1) How do media influence beliefs about and attitudes toward romantic and sexual relationships, and how are these beliefs and attitudes linked to behaviors in these relational contexts? 2) How do people use new media technologies to express their sexuality, and how are these uses related to health outcomes (e.g., psychological well-being, relationship satisfaction)? Methodologically, my work is sensitive to the research question under investigation, and to date has incorporated experiments, surveys, content analyses, and constant comparative analyses of qualitative data.