Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Larry Gross


Television's alleged effects on children have been the object of considerable debate since the early 1950's. The effects of television commercials, however, have been the focus of only a handful of studies. According to recent FCC figures, television commercials now comprise 20 percent--12 minutes or more per hour--of television broadcast content (Johnson, 1973). Earlier figures reported by Steiner (1963) placed commercials as the third largest content category on television, following movies and comedy-variety, but ahead of action dramas and eight other programming categories. Although content emphasis may have changed over the decade, e.g. an increase in action dramas, advertising is still a paramount content category occupying one-fifth of air time. At today's viewing levels, this means the average child is exposed to approximately 100 television commercials per day (Action for Children's Television, 1971).

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Communication Commons