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ERIC Number: ED168681
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Impressions of Television Families.
Wartella, Ellen
This research study examines the types of social behaviors portrayed by families in various television series and explores children's impressions of the TV family members. Content analysis of nine family-oriented TV series was employed to describe the ranges of behaviors of fathers, mothers and children on television. Eleven shows from each series was taped. Behaviors portrayed were coded as being either pro-social or anti-social. Survey data were collected from 388 children in second, fifth and eighth grades. Each child interviewed was asked to "Describe a (character) so that someone would know what he was like and why he was like that" in order to elicit children's impressions of father, mother and child characters from two series. Results of the analyses indicated that depictions of families on television are fairly pro-social. Fathers' and children's behaviors were mixed, while mothers' behaviors were consistently pro-social. Children at all three ages fairly accurately perceived TV characters' behavior patterns. Both father and child characters were uniformly well liked by the children regardless of their behavior patterns, while mother characters were less well liked overall. It is suggested that future research should investigate how TV character portrayals might build children's expectations of how people should behave. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A