Study: Heavy viewers of ‘Teen Mom’ and ’16 and Pregnant’ have unrealistic views of teen pregnancy

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A news release, “Study: Heavy viewers of ‘Teen Mom’ and ’16 and Pregnant’ have unrealistic views of teen pregnancy,” focused on new research by Nicole Martins, assistant professor of telecommunications. Her paper, accepted for publication in the journal Mass Communication and Society, presents findings that such teen mom shows actually lead heavy viewers to┬ábelieve that teen mothers have an enviable quality of life, a high income and involved fathers. Twitter feeds devoted to “Teen Mom” — including one with nearly 200,000 followers — shared a link to the release with their followers.

Clarence Page, a Chicago Tribune columnist whose work is syndicated nationally, published an insightful article using our Teen Mom study to make an effective point: “It is nearly impossible to produce an anti-teen-pregnancy series without glorifying its young stars.”

The study received international media attention, including in:

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