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Author: Pine, Karen J.; Nash, Avril
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Year: 2002
Article Title: Dear Santa: The effects of television advertising on young children
Journal: International Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume: 26
Edition: 6
Issue: 26
Pages: 529-539
ISBN/ISSN: 0165-0254
Source of Funding: Funding Source Not Stated in Paper
Study Design: Correlational Study
Publication Type: Journal Article
Age Group: Childhood (birth-12 yrs), Preschool Age (2-5 yrs), School Age (6-12 yrs)
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Abstract: Objective: To determine the effects of television toy advertisements on children under the age of 7 in the UK, by examining their television exposure and Christmas-time toy requests.

Design: Cross-sectional study, utilizing data from structured interviews (conducted early Dec.) on TV-viewing habits, as well as content analysis of Santa letters (written late Nov.) for brand-name toy requests. Also, between-subjects study comparing toy requests of UK children to kindergarteners from Sweden, where toy advertisements targeting children are banned.

Subjects and Setting: 99 children (45 boys, 54 girls), recruited from Bedfordshire nursery school, 2 Hertfordshire primary schools, and Barnet (London Borough) infants' school. Children divided into 3 groups for analysis: 3.8-4.8 years (n = 16) ; 4.8-5.6 years (n = 41) ; 5.7-6.5 years (n = 42). Also, 19 kindergarteners (10 boys, 9 girls) from Nacka, Sweden, all 6 years (no interviews conducted). TV scores for Group 1 derived from parental report.

Intervention(s): N/A

Outcome Measure(s): Proportion of brand-name products requested in Santa letter.

Results: 41% of toy requests were for brand-name products, with 73% of UK children making such requests. There was a significant, positive relationship between total number of items requested, not proportion of brand-name requests, and TV score (r = .248, p<.05). Lone viewing was significantly related to higher brand-name requests. Swedish children tended to request fewer brand-name items.

Conclusion: In letters to Father Christmas written by children in the UK, where commercials targeting children are allowed, those who watched more television and who tended to view alone requested more brand-name and other items. Center on Media and Child Health
Keywords: Advertisements
Age Differences
Brand Names
Child Development
Children
Cognition
Cognitive Development
Consumerism
Coviewing
Cross Cultural Studies
Europeans
Gender Differences
Infants and Toddlers
Knowledge
Media Diet
Mental Recall
Perceived Reality
Perception
Preferences
Psychology
Television
Toys

 

 

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