TELEVISION, FILMS, AND THE EMOTIONAL LIFE OF CHILDREN
Andre P. Derdeyn, M.D.
University of Virginia Health Sciences Center
Jeffrey M. Turley, M.D.
CSW Medical Center, Wiesbaden Air Force Base Germany
Selma Fraiberg ( 1987) introduced her classic article, "The Mass Media: New Schoolhouse for Children", with a look back at her childhood. She began:
Many, many years ago when I was a child, a home was a shelter against the dangers outside. I had heard, as a child, that there was savagery in the world, that men committed murder, that homes were burglarized, that a child had been kidnapped and ravished, and that in far off lands there were revolutions and wars. But all these things happened in another world. Murders, kidnappers, and burglars lived on another planet--not so far away as dragons, witches, and monsters, but almost as far--and in any case that had not much more reality for me than the creatures of the fairy tales. (p. 573)
Fraiberg pointed out later in her article: "For today's child, a home is no longer a shelter against the dangers outside. The child is a fascinated spectator of the whole of our world" (p. 574). She continued:
When the worst fears of a child can be confirmed in reality, the child loses his own best means of dealing with external danger. . . . None of us can imagine