TV Dads Run Gamut from Great to Awful

By Wetzstein, Cheryl | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 22, 2000 | Go to article overview

TV Dads Run Gamut from Great to Awful


Wetzstein, Cheryl, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


On one recent TV show, a father has an eloquent heart-to-heart talk with his teen daughter about her new boyfriend.

Switch the dial, and here's another father - a stay-at-home dad - stoutly defending his expertise in raising the children while his wife works.

Switch the dial again, and there's a father who tosses his young son into a lake, telling him it's time to sink or swim. As the boy struggles in the water, the father cavalierly tosses in another son, orders him to save his brother and pops open a can of beer.

Such are the varied portraits of American fathers on prime-time TV, as compiled by the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI).

According to five parenting criteria, a third of 31 prime-time fathers were portrayed positively, NFI President Wade F. Horn said yesterday.

Another 12 fathers were given mixed reviews and eight characters scored low enough to be judged as negative portrayals of fatherhood.

While some fathers are portrayed as "competent and involved providers who place their families' needs above their own," others are "dimwitted dolts who are dominated by their bosses, neighborhood pubs or tee times," Mr. Horn said.

TV portrayals of fathers are important because nearly 40 percent of American children do not live with their biological fathers, said Don E. Eberly, chairman of the NFI, which was founded in 1994 to confront the growing problem of father absence.

For millions of these children, "that fictitious model is the only model they see," he said.

This, the second NFI review of TV fathers, is the first to include mothers.

During March and April, NFI researchers identified 31 prime-time TV shows on six networks with mothers or fathers as central recurring characters. The 31 fathers and 30 mothers included married couples, stepparents and divorced or widowed parents.

The characters were rated in five categories - their involvement in family activities, their interaction with their children, their guidance to their children, their competence as parents, and the priority they placed on their family.

The researchers found that:

* Eleven fathers and 13 mothers were "positive" characters, ranking high in the five categories. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

TV Dads Run Gamut from Great to Awful
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.