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

Flaura Koplin Winston, Kimberly Duyck Woolf, Amy Jordan, Esha Bhatia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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 i 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-369
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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