Parenthood and Media: Television Influences College Students’ Perceptions of Parenthood
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More couples are opting to delay childbearing or skip it altogether (Mather & Lavery, 2010). The shift in the parenthood dynamics may be due to social influence from media or television. Using Bandura’s (1986) Social Cognitive Theory and Brofenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory as a basis, the current study sought to understand the link between immediate changes in parenthood perception and television. College students were asked to take a baseline Perceptions of Parenting Inventory (POPI), watch either a positive, negative, or neutral television show, and then complete the POPI a second time. Two weeks later, the participants were asked to complete the POPI a third time. Results showed that there were no differences across inventories for the positive or negative groups, but that the neutral group had a positive increase from the immediate to delayed inventories. Implications and reasoning for these results were discussed.