ERIC Number: ED422099
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Young Viewers' Responses to Television Program Ratings.
Greenberg, Bradley S.; Hnilo, Lynn Rampoldi; Ver Steeg, Linda
Implementation of the first U.S. television program rating system based on identifying content that could be viewed by specific age groups began in January, 1997. This exploratory survey examined the context of how young people responded to the ratings system. Participating in the May 1997 survey were 462 students in fourth, eighth, and tenth grades from a midsized, urban, midwestern city. Approximately half of the sample was female. The sample included 185 African-Americans, 113 Caucasian-American, 17 Hispanic-Americans, 13 Native-Americans, 7 Asian-Americans, 44 "other," and 62 participants with a combination of racial backgrounds. The age groups were compared regarding: (1) their level of awareness about and attention to the ratings, (2) their understanding of the ratings and their ability to interpret them correctly, (3) their attitudes toward the ratings, and (4) their disposition to use the ratings information in considering program options. The findings indicated that age and parental mediation were the most significant predictors of attention, attitudes, and use of the ratings. Gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity were not key elements in understanding the responses of young people. Fourth graders claimed to have more positive attitudes, pay more attention to, and use the ratings more than either the eighth or tenth graders. However, the fourth graders were least likely to correctly identify the ratings' age-specific meanings. Overall, young people had low interest in, marginally positive attitudes for, and only partially correct understanding of the ratings, and they had little use of the ratings for program selection. (Contains 31 references.) (Author/KB)
Descriptors: Age Differences, Attention, Childhood Attitudes, Childrens Television, Comparative Analysis, Cross Sectional Studies, Individual Differences, Information Utilization, Intermediate Grades, Parent Influence, Predictor Variables, Programming (Broadcast), Secondary Education, Sex Differences, Sexuality, Social Differences, Television Viewing, Violence
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Association of Broadcasters, Washington, DC.; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Children, Youth, and Families.
Authoring Institution: N/A