chapter  30
Uses and Gratifications Theory
Considering Media Use in the Context of Family Communication
ByJeffrey T. Child, Paul Haridakis
Pages 12

Uses and gratifications (U&G), in particular, is a theory that focuses on people's use of media and other forms of communication (e.g., interpersonal or family) to satisfy their own needs and desires. This chapter reviews representative research in the family communication context and its applications to the U&G theoretical framework. It explores how and why family members use media to communicate, and some effects of media use and selection. The U&G theoretical perspective acknowledges that individuals may use a combination of family communication practices and media interchangeably to satisfy the gratification of individual needs and desires. Although U&G theory has not been used often by family communication researchers, prior uses and gratifications research has identified family communication-related factors influential in the media use and effects process. Use of media for family connection is not just the province of younger people and their parents.