YouTube Preferences and Practices of Preadolescents: Findings From a Study Carried Out in Catalonia

Maddalena Fedele, Sue Aran-Ramspott, Jaume Suau

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Recent data confirm the central role that YouTube plays in the media life of young people in the west, and especially in the media practices of adolescents and preadolescents. This article presents a study on tweens’ YouTube preferences and media practices. The study was based on the uses and gratification theory and applied a quantitative-qualitative approach: a questionnaire was administered to 1,406 preadolescents (x = 12, 11 years-old) from 41 secondary schools, and three focus groups with six participants (three girls and three boys) each were carried out in three schools. The results reveal that the tweens participating in the study consider YouTube as a social media and a video catalogue. They especially like YouTube’s content, in particular entertainment (music and humour) and self-learning (tutorials); however, they generally dislike its interactive functions (e.g., sharing and commenting). Moreover, their media practices on YouTube reveal that tweens incorporate YouTube into their everyday media life within other social media, although they use it predominantly to consume media content in a “traditional”/“non-interactive” way, similar to traditional television use. Despite this they do not consider it as a “new” television. Finally, tweens in our study use YouTube especially for entertainment, and, on a second level, for self-learning and socialising functions. Further studies need to be carried out to go deeper into the prosumption possibilities for tweens’ both on YouTube and other social media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-166
Number of pages22
JournalComunicacao e Sociedade
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • YouTube
  • media practices
  • media uses
  • preadolescents
  • tweens


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