ERIC Number: ED198935
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Television on Institutionalized Children.
Sprafkin, Joyce N.; And Others
The extent to which television can be used to promote prosocial behavior is examined in this study. A total of 132 boys and girls (age range 8 to 18 years) with behavior problems serious enough to require institutional care participated in the study. The average IQ (WISC) was approximately 88. In the course of a year each of four treatments was administered on three facility wards. Administration consisted of one week of baseline assessment, two weeks of treatment, and one week of follow-up assessment. Each treatment condition included either a prosocial or control TV diet and either the presence or absence of a post-viewing discussion session. The prosocial films were selected for high prosocial and low aggressive content. The control TV diet was based on the youngsters' typical viewing habits. The TV diets were composed of 10 half-hour programs. Among the results, youngsters exposed to prosocial TV programs exhibited more altruistic behavior, less verbal aggression, and less destructive behavior in comparison to youngsters exposed to violence-laden programs. Children who were initially more aggressive benefited most from exposure to the prosocial programs; that is, the frequency of their altruistic behaviors increased more than did those of the less aggressive youngsters. While the discussion in the prosocial diet condition, which highlighted moralistic motivations, appeared to undermine positive program effects, adult-led discussion apparently can minimize the impact of violent programming. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Effects
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Boston, MA, April 2-5, 1981).