Hake, K. (2001). Five-year-olds’ fascination for television: A comparative study. Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, 8 (4), 423-441.

Abstract:  Is there a difference between children’s reception of a program from a public service channel and a program from a commercial channel? This article is based on a comparative, qualitative study of a public service and a commercial program with 20 5-year-old children. The empirical approach highlighted children’s understanding of and identification and fascination with the 2 television programs. Furthermore, the study also dealt with the parents’ perspectives as well as potential discrepancies between the parental perspectives and the child’s perspectives. The children were particularly fascinated by sequences containing affective components such as conflicts and aggression. 16 children out of 20 chose the program from the commercial channel. The parents intuitively showed insight into what their child chose and why. However, when comparing the parents’ choice with the children’s, we found that the children appeared to create their own alternative television culture–a possible ‘counterculture’–as opposed to an adult media culture. This type of research may facilitate a more multifaceted image of the child audience. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)