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TV & American Family

Impact on the Decline of the American Family

There are few influences on values in contemporary society that can compete with the influence of television. Television exerts an enormous influence on the development of children and is also capable of greatly influencing adults. The impact of television on cultural values has increased over the past few decades. This is true in terms of changing family constellations, with more single working parents and less time available for quality family interaction. According to 1995 Nielsen Media Research, the average child views 15,000 to 30,000 hours of television by the age of seventeen, compared to 11,000 to 16,000 hours in school, and 2000 hours or less quality time with parents (Walker 1). In Family Under Attack, Charles Walker also reveals some additional startling statistics, including the fact that television is the number one consumer of people’s leisure time (Walker 1).

To make matters worse, family values are being undermined because of more than just increased exposure to television. Increased exposure to television has an impact on shaping values and development. Content also plays a significant role in undermining traditional family values and creating a deleterious impact on development. Because of lewd, vulgar, and filthy words and images being depicted on television, a Ratings System was put into place to help parents choose which shows were suitable for their children. However, a recent study by the Parents Television Council (PTC) concludes that since the ratings system was put into place, “the total level of violence, profanity, and sleaze on television actually rose – and rose dramatically” (Television 1). In response to this rise in violence, profanity, and sleaze, Senator Joseph Lieberman has proposed an amendment to the juvenile justice bill that would allow all TV networks to enter a voluntary code of conduct. In this manner, says Lieberman, “pa...

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TV & American Family. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:03, November 30, 2021, from