Committee Chair

Davis, Lloyd D.

Committee Member

Crawford, Elizabeth K.; Alderman, Betsy B.; McAllister, Deborah A.


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The purpose of this study was to examine the potential impact that children’s educational television programs can have on parents’ communications with their children when they co-view such programming together. The literature review provided a rich foundation of research on education television. Studies showed many positive effects can be observed when children view appropriate amounts of curriculum-based programs, such as Sesame Street (Gentzkow & Shapiro, 2006), and these effects were amplified when a parent or caregiver co-views the programs with them (Fujioka & Austin, 2002). This study added to the existing body of research by focusing on how parents were impacted by this activity. Parents of children in kindergarten through second grade at two downtown public elementary schools in Chattanooga, Tennessee, were asked to participate in the study. Parents were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. First, a pre-test was taken before any viewing took place. The intervention consisted of instructions that asked parents in the experimental group to co-view educational materials provided on DVD with their children, while parents in the control group were asked only to allow their children to view the materials (no instruction given on co-viewing). Then the same survey was given as a post-test along with additional open-ended questions about the experience. The data collected were analyzed to determine what difference might exist between these two groups, along with differences between parents of higher and lower socioeconomic status, and parents who co-view more or less frequently. The findings from this study revealed some statistically significant results for differences in parental perceptions of co-viewing. These differences may indicate that parents who particpated in the co-viewing experience may have experienced an increase in perceived benefits of co-viewing with their children. Qualitative data gathered also revealed an overall high regard for co-viewing, but many noted the time constraints associated. This study provided a deeper insight into parental attitudes toward co-viewing and may be useful for educators and producers of educational content.


I am grateful to all of my committee members who’ve helped and encouraged me to complete this study. From my first chair, Dr. M.D. Roblyer who helped get me started when I was in a rut, to Dr. Lloyd Davis who has helped me re-learn methodology, to Dr. Beth Crawford who has guided me home on this journey; and Dr. Betsy Alderman and Dr. Deborah McAllister—Thank you all!


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Television and children; Television and families; Mass media and children; Parent and child


children's media; parental co-viewing; parental perceptions

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xii, 100 leaves