Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies

First Committee Member

Lawrence J. Mullen

Number of Pages



Researchers theorize that verbal insults within television family interactions may create images of dysfunctional families that serve as a paradigm for young viewers. This study conducted a content analysis of television programming and speculated about the possible development of antisocial behavior in adolescents due to television viewing; "The Cosby Show" and "Roseanne" were chosen in this research sample because previous research finds that family oriented situation comedies are among children's favorite television programs. Ten episodes of each series were recorded and analyzed for their anti-social verbal content. The brother-sister sibling relationship was analyzed within each episode and coded using eight different categories of verbal insults per episode for each series, because previous research found that television siblings' character interactions are primarily conflictual. Comparisons were made within each of the eight categories of verbal insults between both series using a t-test for Equality of Means; Based on a content analysis of each episode, results showed that there is no overall significant difference between the types of verbal insults within the television programs. Findings indicate that future research needs to further investigate the various types and total amounts of verbal insults and anti-social displays of behavior within all family programming and, conduct television audience analyses in order hinder television programming's possible negative effects on adolescents' social development.


Adolescents; Based; Comedy; Content; Effects; Family; Situation; Social; Speculations; Television; Viewing

Controlled Subject

Mass media; Social psychology; Social psychology

File Format


File Size

1433.6 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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