Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Raymond Ziebarth

Second Advisor

Dr. Verne Haselwood

Third Advisor

Dr. Kaye Parnell

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz


The purpose of this study was to determine if children use electronic media, specifically television, as a source in their selection of role models. Subjects were fifth grade students from five schools within the Omaha Public School System. Approximately 100 students were asked to fill out a questionnaire specifically designed for this study. Participation was voluntary and anonymous and both child and parental permission to survey was acquired from all students surveyed. The results showed that slightly more than half (53%) of the children surveyed used television in their selection of role models. Analysis of relationships between independent variables and television use in role model selection showed that there were no strong differences in gender, socioeconomic level or overall ethnicity. There was a statistically significant difference between white male and nonwhite males subjects' use of television in the selection of role models. Nonwhite boys tended to use television in role model selection to a greater extent than their white counterparts. A large percentage of both white and nonwhite boys named sports figures they saw on television as role models. The majority of subjects fell into the heavy users of television group with no significant relationship existing between amount of television watched and use of television in role model selection. Television and family were determined to be the primary sources for subjects in their selection of role models. There was no significant difference found between children's use of television as a source in role model selection and their attitude toward school. Particular role models chosen by children were listed and grouped in specific categories with a score of how frequently children listed these individuals.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Teacher Education and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Nancy Luke April, 1995.