Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How does the fictional TV marriage influence a young adult's own perceptions about marriage?
by Svendsen, Gina A., M.A., University of Nebraska at Omaha, 2011, 90; 1497176
Abstract (Summary)

This study explored the relationship between television influence and the young adult's perception of marriage. The participants were 178, college-aged males and females (median age 20) from a large Midwestern university. How much television participants watched and the types of programs they watched were examined. Participants were asked where they got their information about marriage and how they thought marriage was displayed on TV. Two hypotheses were tested -- H1: Female students are more likely than male students to use TV programs for ideas on what marriage is really like; H2: Television has a greater influence over female students than male students with regard to their thoughts and behaviors about love and marriage. Neither hypothesis was supported.

However, some gender differences were found. In terms of TV watching, males ranked the Sports, TV Movies, and Educational categories higher than females; females ranked the Drama and Reality categories higher than males. Females ranked their friends as a source on love and marriage higher than males ranked their friends as a source. Other findings in the study include the following. Ninety two percent of participants want to be married someday. For males and females combined, Comedy was the top ranked type of TV show; and Parents or Family were given the most number one rankings as source of information on love and marriage, with Partner being second and Friends third in terms of number one ranking. Participants aged 22 and older ranked the News category higher in terms of watching than 19 to 21 year olds. In addition, participants were more likely to believe TV portrays marriage in a negative tone and stylized manner. Few participants reported they thought TV portrays an accurate representation of real life marriage, and few look to the media for ideas on what marriage is like.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Allen, Chris
Commitee: Carlson, Robert, Powell, Mary Ann
School: University of Nebraska at Omaha
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Nebraska
Source: MAI 50/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Mass communications
Keywords: Influence, Marriage, Perception, TV, Television
Publication Number: 1497176
ISBN: 978-1-124-79704-5
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