Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Hilt

Third Advisor

Dr. William Wakefield


As the youth crime rate continues to climb in the United States, concerned parents and government officials wonder how much television is influencing our nation's children. Research most often reported by the media says that violent action shown on television can cause the same kind of action by children who watch those kinds of programs. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers children's television program has specifically been under attack by parents. CNN estimated that over 100 acts of violence per episode are being shown -- although no research supporting this figure could be found for documentation. The present study investigates the frequency of antisocial (violent) and prosocial (helpfulness) acts shown on The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers television program. The sample consists of 1O episodes, ranging from some of the very first episodes up until the release of the Power Rangers movie in 1995. The number of violent actions (hits, kicks, punches and other physical attacks) recorded in this study were much less than those reported by the media. CNN had reported more than 100 violent acts per episode. This study reports 43.9. On average, prosocial words/actions, which are rarely reported by the media, occurred 9.1 times per episode; problem-solving actions were shown 4.4 times per episode; conflict showing bad winning over good happened 16.1 times per episode; and conflict showing good winning over bad was shown 5.3 times per episode. There were more than four times the number of violent actions recorded in this study than there were prosocial actions. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers appears to have the possibility of being more harmful than helpful to a child's social development. This study supports the contention that television content may have prosocial as well as antisocial effects on children's behavior.


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 1996 Cynthia J. Wilhelmi.