ERIC Number: ED277968
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jan-17
Reference Count: 0
Episodes of Anger on Prime Time Television: A Content Analysis.
Baruch, Rhoda; Stutman, Suzanne
Although anger is associated with risk of coronary heart disease, failed marriages, and suicide, angry exchanges are not always negative experiences but can be beneficial. Recently experts on anger concluded that television could portray anger constructively by using television characters who listened to the angry person, integrated anger and love, remained open to the other person's feelings, refrained from violence, and engaged in problem solving. This study examined 15 of the most popular commercial television programs appearing in March and April 1985. These programs represented a wide spectrum of tastes, all three networks, and the top production companies. Program types were adventure, prime time dramas, situation comedies, and detective stories. A total of 194 anger episodes in the 15 programs were analyzed using a content scoring instrument containing 56 items describing the presence or absence of certain characteristics of the angry person and of the target of anger. Skills found to be well illustrated included listening to the angry person, showing respect, remaining in tune with own feelings, and accurately hearing the angry person. Angry characters directed anger toward an object, displayed appropriate anger, and explained the cause of anger coherently. Analysis showed expressions of anger by television characters did not inevitably lead to abuse and violence, but sometimes even modeled anger management with positive outcomes. Television has an opportunity to portray a greater variety of positive anger responses. References and eight data tables are appended. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute for Mental Health Initiatives, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the World Association for Infant Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines (3rd, Stockholm, Sweden, August 3-7, 1986). For related document, see CG 019 649.