Effects of adult commentary on children's comprehension and inferences about a televised aggressive portrayal.

W. A. Collins, B. L. Sobol, S. Westby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Comprehension of explicitly portrayed events and implicit information in television dramatic narratives has been found to be poor for children as old as second and third graders. In the present experiment the effectiveness of an intervention to facilitate comprehension for young viewers was tested. Adult coviewers stated implicit relations between important explicitly portrayed events during viewing for some second-grade children, while others heard neutral comments at the same points in the plot. Children who heard facilitating commentary scored significantly better on understanding of implicit program content related to the adults' statements, although their scores on other program information were not affected. Adult coviewers may facilitate inferences about important program content for young viewers, who are unlikely to infer such relations spontaneously. The results were discussed in terms of their implications for previously reported relationships between children's understanding and their evaluative and behavioral responses to televised models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-163
Number of pages6
JournalChild development
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1981

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