Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Skalski, Paul

Subject Headings

Children's television programs -- United States, Television and children -- United States, Television -- Influence, Social perception in children, Respect, Children's television, disrespectful behaviors, social cognitive theory, rude world syndrome


The purpose of this study was to examine the frequency and portrayal of disrespectful behaviors as they occur on popular children's cable television shows. A content analysis of children's shows appearing on The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon was conducted. Disrespectful acts were organized into three categories: non-verbal, verbal, and physical. A total of 468 acts were recorded across the 18 episodes sampled for this study. Disrespectful acts that were classified as verbal in nature were the most prevalent, with 73 of the 468 identified acts falling into the verbal category. Fourteen percent of the acts were physical in nature, and 13 percent were non-verbal. The findings showed that on average, there is one disrespectful act shown per minute. Some shows contained over two times the amount of disrespectful acts than others, and there were very few attempts to correct disrespectful behaviors. Implications of the findings are discussed

Included in

Communication Commons