A character addresses the need either verbally or behaviorally to get help with a mental illness or substance abuse problem. The modeling of this behavior is designated by a 5-point scale. Only code for the highest degree portrayed within the segment.
1 = No verbal or behavioral portrayals of help seeking.
2 = Verbal references to getting help. Characters mentioning that they have been thinking about getting help for their condition or other characters suggesting that they should seek help.
3 = Characters go through the effort of planning to get help (call doctor, respond to brochures), or they make an actual appointment with a clinic. Also code if the character makes a statement about actually attending a session or meeting, e.g., “I just got back from my AA meeting,” but the scene is not shown.
4 = Appointments are met or the character is shown visiting (walk-in) a clinic and meets with a professional. Also code if a character is shown attending a counseling session (AA group).
5 = A character is forced to receive help not on their own accord: through an “intervention” (friends and family sit down to have a formal discussion), treatment by emergency services (e.g., ODs and wakes up in the clinic), or a lawful decision forces them to be taken to the clinic (judge sentences them, a superior requests arrangements).
If a MAIN character is shown in an automobile (car, van, trunk, jeep, etc.), code if they are portrayed wearing a seatbelt or not (as well as other passengers). Do not code for taxis, limos, public transportation vehicles. Be sure to record if the situation is an organized sporting event (NASCAR, crash derby).
If a character is shown on a bike (bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, etc.), code if they are portrayed wearing a helmet or not. Also code if they are wearing additional protection (knee-pads, elbow-pads, etc.) Do not code for public transportation vehicles. Be sure to record if the situation is an organized sporting event.
If a character is shown skating (inline skates, roller skates, skateboarding), code if they are portrayed wearing a helmet or not. Also code if they are wearing additional protection (knee-pads, elbow-pads, etc.) Be sure to record if the situation is an organized sporting event (league roller-hockey, Xgames). Recreational skating or neighborhood hockey games are not organized sporting events.
Record how any comments regarding body type are stated. Body type issues are restricted to portrayal and perceptions of weight. We are not concerned with body image issues such as attractiveness. Code for each comment depicted in a segment and record which character initiated the comment and which character the comment is about (receives). Characters can direct comments toward themselves. If no character is the direct target of the comment, code it as Reference only. (e.g., “I like skinny people,” “Fat people are lazy”) Negative comments include put-downs or derogatory remarks about weight. “That guy is HUGE!” “Look at her rolls” “Don’t be a fat slob” “I feel bloated” “You need to go the gym lardo” Positive (or neutral) comments include compliments about someone’s healthy weight management. “She’s been losing weight hasn’t she?” “Your figure looks great, you’re not fat at all,” “You’ve been hitting the gym, and it shows” . . . Also include general comments that may raise awareness about body type issues. “Obesity is harmful to your health,” “Exercise can help you lose weight,” “You should consider visiting the gym.”
If a MAIN character is shown participating in some form of exercise, code appropriately. Exercise is defined as either a “sport activity, or non-sport fitness activity for the express purpose of enhancing fitness levels, reducing stress, treating a medical condition, or preventing a medical condition” (Bell, Berger, & Townsend 2003). Be sure to pay attention to finding a fitness motive for the activity. For example, prolonged stretching (yoga) before an activity is exercise. Taking the stairs would not constitute exercise unless the character expresses that they are doing so to lose weight / increase fitness. Do not consider recreational activities (dancing) or unintended situations (running away from danger) as exercise.
Most organized competitive situations would also constitute exercise. For example marching bands, cheerleading, dance marathons. If no MAIN character is participating in the event, do not code.
Code every instance of food shown being ingested by a character. This is not limited to food items but also non-alcoholic beverages. Record the ID code for all food types consumed. Only code food items actually seen being consumed, not those implied (chips left on the plate, onions picked off a burger).
Any behavior in which characters place bets or make wagers would be considered gambling, regardless of whether they are the focal content of the segment. For example if characters are walking through a casino, code for background activity.
Types of gambling include cards (poker, blackjack), gaming machines (slots, video poker), track betting (horses, dogs), sports betting, craps, dice (other than craps), random number games (roulette, bingo, keno), lottery. Also code if the gambling is a form of online (internet) gambling.