ERIC Number: ED319075
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov-6
Reference Count: N/A
The Portrayal of Families on Prime Time Television.
Larson, Mary Strom
A study explored the interaction of television families with attention to how parents behave in families and how children interact both with and without their parents and their siblings. Programs selected for the study were nine episodes of "The Cosby Show" and "Growing Pains"; both of these programs feature two-parent families with dependent children. Each episode was viewed several times serially and notes were made about all of the family interactions. Analysis in this study revolved around interactions of parents with children, children with parents, and children with their siblings. The analysis provides a picture of families in which fathers are in charge of the family life, in which there is not a great deal of distance between parents and their children, and in which siblings are not particularly supportive. Findings suggest that children modeling their behavior in families from these two programs would have certain expectations, including that: (1) fathers will work at home in a job which allows them to nurture and run a household virtually full-time; (2) while mothers are employed outside the home, the number of professional positions does not parallel the television pattern; (3) siblings are generally not supportive of each other; and (4) the lack of distance between children and parents on television may provide an unrealistic model. (Twenty-two references are attached.) (MG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (73rd, Boston, MA, November 5-8, 1987).