Sex Roles

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 41–61

The family as portrayed on prime-time television, 1947–1990: Structure and characteristics

  • Marvin L. Moore

DOI: 10.1007/BF00290124

Cite this article as:
Moore, M.L. Sex Roles (1992) 26: 41. doi:10.1007/BF00290124


“Successful family series” across four decades of American prime-time television were examined. Family portrayals were defined as either conventional or nonconventional. Conventional families were categorized as “couples without children” and “couples with children.” Nonconventional families were categorized as “single parent” or “contrived.” Additional family characteristics were also recorded including sex of single parent, reason for singleness, social class status, females employed outside the home, “live-ins,” race, and whether the presentation was dramatic or comedic. The data show a trend toward more equal presentation of conventional and nonconventional families, few divorced or female single parents, and few minority families. Implications of findings are discussed and future research questions suggested.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin L. Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South FloridaUSA