Positive and Negative Themes Depicted in Television Shows Targeted Toward Adolescents

Joni M. Seeberger, Christy Lucas, Amalia Brawley, Andrew Groff, Madison Kavanaugh, Alison Yirinec, Annie Moroco, Xijun Zhu, Tonya S. King, Robert P. Olympia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The American Academy of Pediatrics has previously expressed concerns about the thematic content of television (TV) and the amount of time children spend viewing TV. The objective of this study was to determine the positive and negative themes depicted in a select number of TV shows targeted toward adolescents. We analyzed the thematic content depicted in the first season of 26 Netflix TV shows. The mean occurrences/h for positive and negative themes were 39.53 and 47.20, respectively. The most common positive themes were “encouragement from a friend/peer,” “demonstrating honesty,” and “staying true to oneself” (5.98, 5.38, and 3.72 mean occurrences/h, respectively). The most common negative themes were “dishonesty,” “cursing,” and “selfishness,” (5.30, 4.96, and 4.85 mean occurrences/h, respectively). We suggest that health care providers become aware of TV thematic content and promote media education, and we encourage co-viewing and active mediation by parents/guardians with their children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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