Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Actions without consequences: injury-related messages in children's programs.

TitleActions without consequences: injury-related messages in children's programs.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsWinston FK, Duyck Woolf K, Jordan A, Bhatia E
JournalArch Pediatr Adolesc Med
Date Published2000 Apr
KeywordsAdolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Health Behavior, Humans, Infant, Risk-Taking, Safety, Television

OBJECTIVE: To characterize children's television programs in terms of their unintentional injury-related messages.

DESIGN: Content analysis. Episodes representing a total of 216 unique television programs were coded for the presence of imitable unsafe behaviors without consequences.

SETTING: A census of all children's programming airing in a northeastern city during the first week of December 1996.

RESULTS: Exactly 47.0% of children's programming depicted at least 1 instance of unsafe, imitable behavior without consequences; one third had more than 3 instances. Exactly 51.0% of the programs targeted to school-age children and 33.4% of the programs targeted to preschoolers contained these unsafe behaviors. The majority (56.8%) of children's programs on basic cable television depicted unsafe behavior as compared with 23.1% of programs shown on public television. Cartoon programs depicted the most unsafe behaviors (60.3%), as compared with live-action programs (33.4%) and other genres (23.3%).

CONCLUSIONS: Children's television programs depict too many unsafe behaviors without consequences. Future work should explore the role of these programs in the development of unsafe behaviors in children.

Alternate JournalArch Pediatr Adolesc Med
PubMed ID10768674