Following on from yesterday’s call from Leave our Kids Alone to ban advertising to primary school children, I thought I’d post something about the latest evidence on how advertising and materialism affects children’s wellbeing.

Longitudinal research from the Netherlands shows that it is children who are unhappy (for whatever reason) that become materialistic rather than materialism causing unhappiness- but that materialistic values only arise in children who are exposed to a lot of advertising.  So it’s not that advertising makes children materialistic and unhappy – it is that insecure children latch onto advertising as a way to solve their problems.

Research with adults shows clearly that those who have developed materialistic attitudes are more prone to a range of issues from life dissatisfaction to depression.  Thus it seems that the most vulnerable in society are seduced by advertising into developing materialistic values that are linked with adult unhappiness.



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