ERIC Number: ED340067
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-1
Reference Count: N/A
Family Communication Models on Television: "The Simpsons" and "The Cosby Show."
Larson, Mary S.
A study examined the family communication of two television families: the Huxtables, on "The Cosby Show," and the Simpsons. Content analysis was used to analyze communication behaviors in 9 episodes of "The Cosby Show" and 12 episodes of "The Simpsons," and behaviors were coded as to type of communication. Results showed that: (1) both families exhibited primarily affiliative (rather than conflictual) communication behaviors; (2) in the Huxtable family, communication was child/parent centered, while it was spouse/parent centered in the Simpson family; (3) child/parent communication was the most affiliative in both families, while communication between spouses was the most conflictual in the Huxtable family and in the Simpson family sibling dyads were the most conflictual; (4) on both shows, the predominant communication behavior was giving information, followed closely on "The Simpsons" by attacking; and (5) on the Cosby Show, parents and children exchanged information while spouses opposed; on "The Simpsons" the most common communication types were giving directions between parents and children, giving support between parents, and attacking among siblings. Results indicated that both families were positive and supportive in their family communication behaviors. Comparison with B.S. Greenberg's 1980 study concerning families on primetime television showed that several stereotypical communication patterns were no longer present. The communication patterns can serve as models for social learning. (Four tables of data are included; 30 references are attached.) (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior; Cosby Show; Simpsons (The)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).