Stern, S. (2005). Self-Absorbed, Dangerous, and Disengaged: What Popular Films Tell Us About Teenagers. Mass Communication and Society, 8(1), 23-38. Retrieved July 16, 2009, doi:10.1207/s15327825mcs0801_3

An overwhelming number of American adults have negative impressions of teenagers. Mass media may play a role in these impressions. This article describes results from a content analytic study of images of teenagers in recent popular films aimed at discerning how they are typically depicted. This study inquired about portrayals of teens’ behaviors, motivations, and relationships with their parents. The results indicate that modern Hollywood films featuring youth promote an image of teenagers as self-absorbed, violent, disconnected from parents, and disengaged from civic life. Racial and gender stereotyping of teen characters is also evident. Altogether, the image of teens constructed by recent, popular films likely reinforces adults’ negative views and possibly works to distance adults from teens. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)(from the journal abstract)