Date of Degree

1989

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Sociology

Advisor

William Kornblum

Committee Members

John L. Hammond

David Lavin

Charles Winick

Subject Categories

Sociology

Abstract

The goal of this cross-cultural study identifies which video and non-video related activities are selected by nine-to-eleven year old children living in New York and London, England. Four hundred children were surveyed and interviewed about their television and VCR viewing habits and their use of computers and computer/video games as well their after-school, non-video activities.

A uses-gratifications approach provides a general framework for the analyses of the data. These data show that there is a complex interplay between children's activity choices and the occupational status of the child's parents, the child's race/ethnicity, gender, ecological environment, family structure and social structure.

Some of the more significant findings show: (1) Children watch TV for approximately two hours and twenty minutes each day. Their viewing threshold is approximately three hours. (2) Ownership and usage of bedroom TVs is positively associated with the amount of time children spend watching TV. (3) Boys are more likely to own and use computers and computer/video games than are girls. Boys are also more likely to watch cartoons than are girls. The content of these TV programs and software items appear to be more gratifying for boys than for girls. (4) There is virtually no relationship between children's reading level and the amount of time children watch TV and the kinds of TV programs they watch. However, children who read for pleasure and own computers are more likely to have high reading levels than are children who do not read and do not own computers. (5) New Yorkers are much more likely to own nearly every kind of video hardware and software than are Londoners. (6) Occupational status is not consistently associated with video hardware and software ownership. High-status parents are more likely to own computers than are low-status parents, but low-status parents are more likely to place TVs in their children's bedrooms. In New York, VCR ownership is positively related to occupational status. In London, VCR ownership is negatively related to occupational status.

Comments

Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.

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