The Effects of Advertising on Children’s Materialistic Orientations

7849 Words Feb 5th, 2013 32 Pages
Running head: ADVERTISING AND CHILDREN’S MATERIALISTIC ORIENTATIONS 1

The Effects of Advertising on Children’s Materialistic Orientations: A Longitudinal Study

ADVERTISING AND CHILDREN’S MATERIALISTIC ORIENTATIONS

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Abstract Previous studies have suggested that advertising exposure affects materialistic orientations among youth. However, this causal effect has not been investigated among 8- to 11-year olds, who are in the midst of consumer development. Furthermore, the mechanisms underlying this relation have not been studied. In order to fill these lacunae, this study focused on the longitudinal relation between children’s advertising exposure and materialism. We investigated two possible mediators: advertised product
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During this stage, children become aware of the symbolic meaning of products. Unlike younger children, children in the analytical stage may not only want to acquire products for the sake of having them, but also for the purpose of increasing happiness and status. Materialism may thus start to bloom from age 8 onwards. Nonetheless, little attention has been paid to the development of materialism among children aged 8 to 11 (Chaplin & John, 2007). In this study we do not only aim to investigate if children’s advertising exposure indeed affects their materialism, but also how it affects their materialism. Until now, only few scholars have focused on mediated effects in media effects research (Holbert & Stephenson, 2003; Shrum, 2009). Based on materialism theory, though, advertising exposure is expected to influence materialism in two ways. On the one hand, advertising exposure might have an effect on materialism via children’s increased desire for heavily advertised products (i.e., advertised product desire). Advertising aims to increase children’s desires for the advertised products, and this desire for advertised products may transcend to more general materialistic orientations. On the other hand, the degree to which children perceive the world as depicted in advertising as real (i.e., perceived reality of advertising) might also function as a mediating

ADVERTISING AND CHILDREN’S MATERIALISTIC

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