ERIC Number: ED314804
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Prosocial and Antisocial Interaction on Television: Conflict and Jealousy on Prime Time.
Comstock, Jamie; Strzyzewski, Krystyna
A study analyzed prime time television programs for the presence of interpersonal predicaments, specifically family conflict and situations involving jealousy, envy, and rivalry. The portrayal of these situations was evaluated according to relevant pro- and antisocial criteria. A total of 17 one-hour episodes and 24 half-hour episodes were obtained, yielding 41 programs or 29 total hours of televised interaction. Programs were classified as either drama, situation comedy, or night time soap. Primary characters were involved in a total of 255 conflict situations across 41 episodes of prime time television. Situations involving jealousy, envy, or rivalry were less frequent than conflict, yet still common with a total of 88 instances of these predicaments depicted. Results indicated that family conflict and the expression of jealousy are quite common in prime time television relationships and predominantly depicted in a prosocial manner across situation comedies, family dramas, and night time soaps. Gender differences were prevalent within the televised interaction patterns. Results suggest that television portrayal of conflictual interaction presents a mixed bag of potential effects. While a prosocial model for mothers and wives responding to their husbands is presented, siblings, wives initiating conflict, and husbands in general are depicted as using antisocial styles of conflictual interaction. With regard to the portrayal of jealousy, envy, and rivalry, findings indicated that a romantic involvement is the greatest threat to the jealous person; envy was most often over another's relationship; and rivalry most frequently occurred to obtain a "person". (Four tables of data are included and 52 references are attached.) (MG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Revised version of the paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (75th, San Francisco, CA, November 18-21, 1989).