ERIC Number: ED339534
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Perceived Realism of Family Television Series.
Rabin, Beth E.; And Others
This study examined the influence of grade level, program content, and ethnic match between viewer and television characters on children's perceptions of the realism of families portrayed in television series. In the 1986-87 school year, a sample of 1,692 children in 2nd, 5th, and 10th grades completed a 13-item questionnaire measuring their perceptions of the realism of their two favorite family format television shows. The three most popular shows were "The Cosby Show,""Family Ties," and "Diff'rent Strokes." The 858 children who chose these shows were used as the sample. In 1989, a sample of 40 adults also completed the questionnaire in relation to these shows. Results indicated that perceived realism scores decreased with age. There was no relationship between perceived realism scores and the ethnic match between the viewer and the television family. Based on the adults' perceived realism scores, the 13 items measured for each show were divided into highly unrealistic, somewhat realistic, and highly realistic content. The children's questionnaire responses were then rescored for these three subscores. Results indicated that there were no age differences for highly unrealistic items or somewhat realistic items, and that perceived realism scores for highly realistic items decreased with age. A list of 30 references is included. (BC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cosby Show; Different Strokes (Television Program); Family Ties (Television Program)
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).