Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Wanzenried

Second Advisor

Dr. James Thorson

Third Advisor

Dr. Lippschulz


As the percentage of people age 65 and older steadily increases in the United States, the "aging of America" and the manner in which the older segment of the population is depicted becomes an increasingly important issue. One nearly inescapable part of our everyday lives— the media (television, newspapers, magazines, and others)— provides a broad field of study for the issue of aging in American society. The present study investigated the depiction and frequency of appearance of older characters on Saturday morning children's television. Social learning theory posits that children learn from observation— both first-hand and through television. Thus, in order to explore what children might be learning from television, examining the content of shows geared particularly for children is of import.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Marigrace H. Powers May, 1992.