Does TV Have an Effect on Family Relationships?

The hypothesis for this survey is that television viewing has no effect among relationships with family members.
The dependent variable is the quality of the relationships the responder has with his/her family members while the independent variable is the amount of time and importance the responder places on television viewing.

The operational definition of the first variable that will be studied is the quantitative amount of communication between the responder and family members. This is measured through question one (Q1).

The operational definition of the second variable that will be studied is the amount of shopping the responder does for his/her family members. This information helps us understand how much the responder cares about family members. This is measured through question two (Q2).

The operational definition of the third variable that will be studied is the amount of television the responder watches with family members. If the responder watches a lot of television with family members, it will help show that increased television viewing may not necessarily lead to a change in family relationships since family members usually talk during commercial breaks or between television shows. This is measured through question three (Q3).

The operational definition of the fourth variable that will be studied is how frequently the responder has meals with family members. Responders who have more meals with family members probably have a better relationship with their family members than responders who have fewer meals with family members. This is measured through question four (Q4).

The operational definition of the fifth variable that will be studied is how frequently the responder watches television without the presence of other family members. The more television a responder watches without other family members could result in less time spent with family members. This is measured through question five (Q5).

The operational definition of the sixth variable that will be studied is how the respondent views the importance of television. Respondents who regard television as an important activity in their free time could, as a result, neglect family members or activities such as board games or sports that help promote communication among family members.

Q1: Some people are talkative; others are quiet. How often do you usually have a conversation with a family member lasting more than five minutes?
A. Never or seldom (0)
B. 1 or 2 days a week (10)
C. 3 or 4 days a week (20)
D. Nearly everyday (30)
E. Everyday (40)

Q2: Some family members shop for their family; others don’t. How often do you buy things at a discount or grocery store for your family?
A. Never or seldom (0)
B. Occasionally (15)
C. Sometimes (30)
D. Almost always (45)
E. All the time (60)

Q3: Some families enjoy watching television together; others don’t because they have different schedules. In an average week, how many TV programs do you watch with other family members?
A. None (0)
B. 1 to 2 programs (50)
C. 3 or 4 programs (100)
D. 5 or 6 programs (150)
E. 7 or more programs (200)

Q4: In an average week, how many meals do you have with other family members?
A. None (0)
B. 1 to 3 meals (15)
C. 4 to 6 meals (30)
D. 8 to 10 meals (45)
E. 11 or more meals (60)

Q5: In an average week, how many TV programs do you watch by yourself?
A. None (20)
B. 1 or 2 programs (15)
C. 3 or 4 programs (10)
D. 5 or 6 programs (5)
E. 7 or more programs (0)

I’m going to read a statement. Please tell me whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with this statement.

Q6: During my free time, I prefer to watch television a lot.
A. Strongly agree (20)
B. Somewhat agree (40)
C. Agree (60)
D. Somewhat disagree (80)
E. Strongly disagree (100)

(Demographic Information)
Q7: What is your gender?
A. Male
B. Female

Q8: What is your age?
A. 18-27
B. 28-37
C. 38-47
D. 48-57
E. 58-67
F. 68-77
G. 78+

The first variable being studied has a ratio measurement level. The variable is studied in question one and has a true zero because one could answer A which would mean zero days. The question has been designed to accurately measure the amount of extended communication that goes on between respondents and family members.

The second variable being studied has an ordinal measurement level. The variable is studied in question two but the choices are adjectives which all respondents already understand. Each family has unique needs so asking frequency of shopping in specific terms would not yield accurate results.

The third, fourth, and fifth variables being studied also have a ratio measurement level as previously mentioned in the discussion about the first variable.

The sixth variable being studied has an ordinal measurement level as previously mentioned in the discussion about the second variable. However, it is important to note that there is an agreement and disagreement response choice in the sixth variable. This semantic differential is used to measure attitudes about how important the respondent views television.

One of the potential pitfalls that could arise from using these questions is the possibility that respondents may inflate or deflate the amount of participation in a behavior that is either socially desirable or socially undesirable.

Questions one through three include a brief lead-in indicating to the respondent that it is okay if he/she does and it is okay if he/she does not. However, respondents may inflate the amount of times they have had meals with family members and the number of shows they watch with family members.

Another pitfall that could occur would yield inaccurate results to question two because a respondent who does not carefully read the shopping question is opt to answer he/she shops frequently, when in fact, the respondent shops for himself/herself and does not usually buy things for family members.

Another pitfall to this survey is the fact that there is only one agreement and disagreement question on the survey. It would be better if there was more than one but no other agreement and disagreement questions would yield accurate results as the questions posed in this survey.

The interviewer should randomly call people for this interview. For the results to be accurate and show a general population – a computer should randomly select citizens throughout the United States and the interviewer should be careful to interview one thousand males and one thousand females. He or she should also make sure that all age groups are represented in some way. In other words, the interviewer should make sure that respondents come from a wide variety of ages and if this does not happen “randomly” then to specifically take steps to get all ages of the population.

The points next to each response answer show precoding in this survey. The most important question in this survey is question three which measures how often families watch television together on a scale from zero to two hundred. This question, more than any other, will examine whether increased television viewing actually results in decreased relationships with families or whether the variables television viewing and family relationships have no connection with each other.
The second most important question is question six, how important TV is to the respondent on a scale from twenty to one hundred.

The third and fourth most important questions would be questions two and four which show how many meals the respondent has with family members and how often the respondent shops for family members. Both are on a scale from zero to sixty.
The fifth most important question, question one, measures how often the respondent communicates with family members on a scale from zero to forty.

The least important question, question five, measures how much the respondent watches television programs without family members in an average week. This is measured on a scale from twenty to zero.

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