The Influence of Home Family Structure on a Child’s Acceptance of Stereotypical and Non-stereotypical Cartoon Characters

Tara Mary Boyle, Fordham University

Abstract

This study was designed to examine how preschoolers’ home family structure and parental attitudes impacted their susceptibility to gender stereotypes on television; specifically animated cartoons. A total of 82 participants representing 41 parent/child dyads were drawn from three preschools reflecting diverse economic statuses on Long Island. Parents (or caregivers) were asked to complete a demographic measure that was later used to group the children into traditional and non-traditional family structure groups. Parents also completed Hoffman and Kloska’s (1995) 13-item measure that assessed their gender attitudes toward marital roles and child rearing. To assess the children’s preferences for a stereotypical or non-stereotypical cartoon characters they were asked to examine 18 different stimuli depicting cartoon characters (9 gender stereotypical, 9 gender non-stereotypical). Results indicated that children from the non-traditional family structure group were more likely to believe that the non-traditional cartoon characters could represent a real-life situation. These findings indicate that a child’s home family structure can have an influence on how they perceive stereotypes frequently seen on animated children’s programs.

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Boyle, Tara Mary, "The Influence of Home Family Structure on a Child’s Acceptance of Stereotypical and Non-stereotypical Cartoon Characters" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13899827.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI13899827

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