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ERIC Number: ED465686
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Teen Television as a Stimulus for Moral Dilemma Discussions: Adolescent Girls' Conversations about "Dawson's Creek,""Freaks and Geeks,""Get Real," and "7th Heaven."
Irlen, Sandra; Dorr, Aimee
Teen television, which in large part is made up of moral dilemmas, is often a topic of adolescent discussion. Discussions among adolescent friends are viewed as playing an essential role in moral reasoning development, making it important to investigate television's potential to stimulate these discussions. A study investigated adolescent girls' conversations about teen television dramas to determine whether these types of conversations contained moral dilemma discussions that embodied the elements of conversation hypothesized to promote growth in moral reasoning (i.e., conflict and transactive dialogue/transformation). Differences between unstructured and structured settings for stimulating conversations containing conflict and transactive dialogue/transformation were compared. Twelve pairs of 11-13 year old girls who had watched any of the 11 teen TV shows in syndication during 1999-2000 took part in the study. Participants were evenly distributed across the 6th-8th grades. After viewing a 45-minute program, friends were grouped in pairs to discuss the program with each other and were audiotaped. The investigator induced a moral dilemma conversation by giving the girls a series of questions about the main moral dilemma in the program. Questions were modified for the specific program using Kohlberg's moral judgment interview. Each participant also completed an informational questionnaire. Conversations were transcribed and coded for transactive dialogue/transformation, conflict, and moral reasoning levels present within the conversation. Findings suggest that popular television programs may in fact be excellent teaching tools, presenting real-life illustrations of dilemmas involving serious issues that adolescents may face. Includes a table and three figures. Program summaries are appended. (Contains 22 references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Kohlberg Moral Judgment Interview