Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

John M. King

Committee Members

James J. Mooney, Janet Neal


While the violent content of television news and entertainment programs has been widely documented, commercials have been rarely scrutinized for aggressive traits. This study sought to improve on this situation and gather additional data about television commercial violence. Because commercials make up 25 percent of each network hour of programming, the potential for exposure to violent content may be even greater than previously believed. To explore this issue, a content analysis was conducted of 2,162 prime-time television commercials on three major networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC. The sample was coded with a scheme developed by Anu Mustonen and Lea Pulkkinen to measure and interpret violent acts in television programming. Violent content was depicted in 9.3 percent of the sample with the majority of acts being physical in nature. The research indicated that villain-types and males perpetrated most of the violence and males were most often the victims of violent acts.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Communication Commons