Date on Senior Honors Thesis
Psychological and Brain Sciences
Television; Depression; Mood
The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship of mood and depressive symptoms with both the amount and type of television programming viewed. This study was also concerned with learning whether members of different genders and age groups are more or less likely to exhibit correlations between positive or negative mood and certain amounts and types of programs watched. The study addressed the following research questions: Question 1: What is the relationship between mood and amount of television viewing time? Question 2: What is the relationship between mood/depression and different types of programming, and is the same relationship exhibited across different age groups and genders? Participants completed questionnaires containing questions concerning their physical activity, depressive symptoms, daily mood ratings, and daily television viewing records. There were no significant relationships found between daily negative affect and daily viewing or between increased time watching each category of programming and higher rates of depressive symptoms. However, significant positive correlations were found between time spent watching television and positive mood for days 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7. Age, sex, television watching, and physical activity were not found to significantly predict levels of depressive symptoms. While it is impossible to determine causation from the present study, these findings lend partial support to the idea that television viewing could serve the purpose of coping with negative moods.
Cunningham, Rachel Marie, "Television and depression." (2013). College of Arts & Sciences Senior Honors Theses. Paper 52.
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