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Risk and injury portrayal in boys' and girls' favourite television programmes

By Karen Pfeffer and J. Orum


Objectives: To analyse the injury-related content of\ud children’s television programmes preferred by boys and by\ud girls, and to determine whether there are more televised\ud models of unsafe behaviour in programmes preferred by\ud boys.\ud Methods: Parents of 4–11-year-old children identified\ud their children’s favourite television programmes. Content\ud analysis of 120 episodes of children’s favourite programmes\ud was used to quantify safe and risky behaviours,\ud actual injuries and potential injuries. The gender of the\ud characters portraying the behaviours was also analysed.\ud Results: More risky behaviour was portrayed in the boys’\ud favourite programmes (mean per episode =6.40) than in\ud the girls’ favourite programmes (mean=2.57). There\ud were almost twice as many potential injuries (n=310) as\ud actual injuries (n=157). Potential injuries were portrayed\ud more often by male characters (mean=1.92) than\ud female characters (mean=0.98), mostly in the boys’\ud favourite programmes. Actual injuries occurred more\ud often to male characters (mean=1.04) than to female\ud characters (mean=0.27) overall.\ud Conclusions: Television programmes preferred by this\ud sample of boys portrayed male role models engaging in\ud risky behaviours and injuries more often than the\ud programmes preferred by the sample of girls

Topics: C800 Psychology
Publisher: BMJ
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1136/ip.2008.019539
OAI identifier:

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