ERIC Number: ED173689
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Dec-22
Reference Count: 0
A Study of How the Elderly Are Portrayed on Television Programs Viewed by Children.
Jantz, Richard K.; And Others
In order to determine the manner and extent of treatment of the elderly in children's television programs, a random sample of children's programs was examined. The purpose was to discover how frequently elderly people appeared during evening and children's Saturday morning programs; in what roles they were presented; in what occupations they were engaged; what types of behavior they exhibited; and what types of interactions took place between children and elderly persons. A content analysis technique and a semantic differential were used to answer these questions, and a generalizability analysis supported the assumption that the sample of elderly persons selected for evaluation were representative of the total population available. Findings were that older people appeared in over half the sampled shows, but older women and minorities were noticeably under-represented. Although the elderly appeared in a variety of roles, they were perceived as vague or neutral. Their behaviors were evaluated as positive, but just barely beyond neutral. It can be concluded that, while children's shows should include an increasing number of elderly persons, it may be more important that children be provided with a realistic, accurate portrayal of the elderly. (Author/BP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Retired Teachers Association, Washington, DC.; American Association of Retired Persons, Washington, DC.; Andrus Memorial Foundation, Los Angeles, CA.
Authoring Institution: Maryland Univ., College Park. Center on Aging.