ERIC Number: ED328927
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Education or Entertainment: The Television Portrayal of Single Parents in the '90s.
As the number of single-parent families has grown in the United States, network television programming has increasingly included programs portraying single parents and their attempts to cope with the role. In a study, the "Fall Preview" edition of "TV Guide" magazine was used to select programs featuring single mothers or fathers as major characters. Six programs met the prescribed criteria and a total of 23 episodes were recorded over a 6-week period (some episodes were cancelled owing to scheduling changes). Of the episodes recorded, 16 specifically dealt with conflict among family members. In all of the programs, parent-child conflict was resolved through discussion. Advice was sought from third persons in most of these programs. In some cases, other characters filled the role of the missing parent in resolving conflicts. These programs included frequent displays of family affection and emphasized the belief that the family is the number one priority. Positive messages were presented to single parent viewers, who were portrayed as not being bound to sex stereotypes. Future studies of prime-time single parents could address relationship change with adult children, models of behavior presented to children, and education in the use of specific problem-solving strategies. (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Television Networks
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (76th, Chicago, IL, November 1-4, 1990).