The Influence of the Cinema on Children and Adolescents: An Annotated International Bibliography

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2. THE ATTITUDE OF YOUTH TOWARDS THE CINEMA

(a) FREQUENCY OF CINEMA ATTENDANCE;
CINEMA HABITS; THE CINEMA IN RELA-
TION TO OTHER LEISURE ACTIVITIES

51. Bailyn, Lotte. Mass Media and Children: A Study of Exposure Habits and Cognitive Effects. Cambridge, Mass., Centre for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1958. 41 p. (stencilled).

A critical and analytical survey of American publications dealing with the influence of mass communication media on youth. The author examines successively the time devoted by young persons to mass media (cinema attendance, listening to the radio, reading of strip cartoons, etc.); the contents of mass media; young persons' preferences; their recollections of what they have heard, seen or read; the rôle of mass media in the lives of young persons and specific influence they exercise.

The general impression is that, on the whole, children devote to mass media a considerable part of their leisure time, which, however varies in extent with age, level of development, and sex, as well as various social and economic factors. Two methods in particular may be used to study the contents of mass media: their various elements may be analysed by classification, or they may be considered in relation to the cultural level and standards of morality of the public (this method was used, in particular, by Charles C. Peters, Motion Pictures and Standards of Morality, Payne Fund Studies no. 123, and by Wolfenstein and Leites, Movies, A Psychological Study). It appears that the preferences of young persons for certain programmes are not determined entirely by supply, but are also influenced by other factors: age, level of development, sex, social and economic circumstances, etc. The relations between these preferences and the influence of mass media on young persons are still insufficiently known. Various inquiries have been undertaken with a view to assessing the influence of certain character traits (for instance, aggressiveness) or certain mental aptitudes on a child's recollections of a film, a radio programme, etc . Mass media may play a multiple rôle in the lives of children: the latter find in them compensation for their frustrations, an escape, a solution to their personal problems, a broadening of their horizon, etc. The author endeavours to relate these various attitudes to the studies of the contents of mass media and the preferences of the public. Finally, she analyses the different methods used in the study of the specific influence of mass media on children, and summarizes the results obtained.

52. Behringer, Gertrude. Welche Rolle spielt der Film tatsächlich im Leben unserer Jugend? 16,000 Wiener Jugendliche geben Antwort. [What is the rôle of the cinema in the life of our young people? 16,000 Viennese young people give their answers.] In: Oesterreichischer Jugend-Informationsdienst, Vienna 7 ( 9-10), June-July 1954, p.4-6.

An inquiry carried out by means of questionnaires among 16,000 Viennese schoolchildren, to find out how often they attend the cinema, for what reasons, with whom, how they select the films to see, what kinds of films they prefer.

The frequency of cinema attendance was found to vary greatly among the age-groups studied; the 10-14 year-olds went to the cinema an average of 2.2 times monthly; the 15-18 year-olds, nearly five times monthly. "Recreation" and "instruction" are the reasons most frequently given for going to the cinema. Film titles, publicity photographs, anticipation of the film contents, and the names of the actors were cited as the main deciding factors in the choice of films. The preference for certain kinds of film was found to vary greatly with age and type of school.

53. Bianco e Nero. Chi va al cinema e perchè? Who goes to the cinema and why?] Rome, XIX ( 2), February 1958.

A number devoted entirely to a discussion of the methods and results of a survey of cinema audiences by Malcolm MacLean, Jr., Luca Pinna and Margherita Guidacci.It contains various references to the reactions of young audiences.

54. Blats, W. E.What do the Children Think of the Movies? In: Perlman, William J.: The Movies on Trial, New York, MacMillan, 1936 p. 232-248, (see no. 17).

An interim account of an investigation carried out in Toronto in 1934-1935 among more than 2,000 children between 9 and 19 years of age. The following were the main results. More than 50 per cent of the boys and 60 per cent of the girls did not go to the cinema more than once every two weeks in winter. Only 7 per cent of the boys and 3 per cent

-18-

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