Winning hearts and minds: television and the very young audience

Sue Howard, Susan Roberts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Although we know that very young children watch television and indicate preferences for favourite programmes, very little research has been undertaken exploring the responses of such young viewers to media texts. Reasons for this are probably largely methodological – one cannot use the usual methods associated with social research with children who are in the early stages of language acquisition. In this article, the authors describe how they devised a unique technique for observing and recording the responses of 20 under two year-olds to a television text – Teletubbies. Faced with a large amount of rich textual data, they then developed a set of analytical criteria. The subsequent analysis revealed that very young children’s responses to the chosen text were very diverse and included pleasure, parasocial and cognitive responses. In addition, new insights into very young children’s attentional abilities were revealed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)315-337
    Number of pages23
    JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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