= Exposure to Marketing Contributes to Children's Materialism as young as
= A recent study of materialistic values among children found that children, who
were more materialistic, were less happy, had lower self-esteem, and reported
more symptoms of anxiety. They showed less generosity and allocated less money
to charity when they imagined receiving a windfall. They engage in fewer
positive environmental behaviors (e.g., reusing paper, using less water while
= A survey of parents found that 63% of parents surveyed believed that their
children define their self worth in terms of what they own.(23) A number of
studies have demonstrated a correlation between children's exposure to
advertising and their purchase requests (24); reducing the amount of television
that children watch reduces their requests for toys. (25)
= A poll of young people aged 12-17 demonstrates the power of the “nag factor”
and how marketing can lead to family conflict and stress. 40% of respondents
said they had asked their parents for an advertised product they thought their
parents would not approve of.
= The average young person said they have to ask nine times before their parents
give in and let them have what they want. Eleven percent of 12-13 year olds
admitted to asking their parents more than fifty times for products they've seen
advertised. This “keep asking strategy” is paying huge dividends for kids and
marketers alike: 55% of young people surveyed said they are usually successful
in getting their parents to give in.(26)
= Today, encouraging children to use “the nag factor” to get their parents to
buy things is a tried and proven marketing technique.(27) In 1998, market
researchers conducted a study to help retailers exploit children's nagging to
boost sales(28); they found that nagging was responsible for 40% of trips to
“entertainment establishments like the Discovery Zone and Chuck E. Cheese,” one
of every three trips to a fast-food restaurant...(29)
21.Goldberg, M.E. & Gorn, G.J. (1978). Some unintended consequences of TV
advertising to children. Journal of Consumer Research, 5(1), 2229.
22. Kasser, (radhi allahu anhu). (in press). Psychometric development of brief measures of
frugality, generosity, and materialism for use in children and adolescents. In:
K. Moore & L. Lippman (Eds.) Conceptualizing and Measuring Indicators of
Positive Development: What do children need to flourish? New York: Kluwer/Plenum.
23. Center for a New American Dream. (1999, July). New poll shows marketing to
kids taking its toll on parents, families. Takoma Park, MD.
24. Buijzen, M. & Valkenburg (2003). The effects of television advertising on
materialism, parentchild conflict, and unhappiness: A review of research.
Applied Developmental Psychology, 24, 437-456.
25. Robinson, (radhi allahu anhu).N., et al. (2001). Effects of reducing television viewing on
children's requests for toys. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 229(3).
26. Center for a New American Dream. (2002, May) Thanks to Ads, Kids Won't Take
No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No for an Answer. Takoma Park, MD.
27. Eig, J. (2001). Edible entertainment: Food companies grab kids by fancifully
packaging products as toys, games. Wall Street Journal, October 24.
28. E. Morales. (2000, March). The Nag Factor: Measuring Children's Influence.
29. Western Media International (1998). The fine art of whining: Why nagging is
a kid's best friend. Business Wire. August 11.