Does television viewing cultivate unrealistic expectations about marriage?

Chris G Segrin, Robin L. Nabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One explanation for the high divorce rate in our society focuses on the idealistic expectations with which many people enter into marriage. The media have been cited as the source of or major contributor to these expectations; however, no empirical evidence exists to support that claim. Based on a survey of 285 never-married university students, this study sought to examine the relationship between television viewing, holding idealistic expectations about marriage, and intentions to marry. Results from regression and path analyses indicate that, although overall television viewing has a negative association with idealistic marriage expectations, viewing of romantic genre programming (e.g., romantic comedies, soap operas) was positively associated with idealistic expectations about marriage. Further, a strong and positive association between these expectations and marital intentions was evidenced. These findings are discussed in terms of both cultivation theory and the uses and gratifications perspective of media influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-263
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2002

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Television
television
marriage
Soaps (detergents)
Students
cultivation theory
soap opera
divorce
Marriage
genre
programming
regression
university
evidence
student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

Cite this

Does television viewing cultivate unrealistic expectations about marriage? / Segrin, Chris G; Nabi, Robin L.

In: Journal of Communication, Vol. 52, No. 2, 06.2002, p. 247-263.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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