ISLAMABAD: Unhappy kids are more likely to become materialistic than children who are happy with their lives, a new study from the Netherlands suggests.
And TV advertising is an important instigator, the study found. “Children who were less satisfied with their lives do become more materialistic over time, but only when they are frequently exposed to advertising,” said study lead author Suzanna Opree.
“Advertising seems to teach children that possessions are a way to increase happiness”, Live Science Reported.
It’s a significant finding because research with adults suggests that materialistic children may become less happy later in life, said Opree, a research associate at the University of Amsterdam School of Communication Research.
The study describes it as “having a preoccupation with possessions and believing that products bring happiness and success.”
In the survey, the children responded to items measuring materialism – for example, self-rating how much they like other children based on whether they have more possessions. Kids also rated how happy they were with their life, home, parents, friends, school and themselves and as a whole.
Ad exposure was gauged by how frequently kids watched nine ad-packed TV shows, including “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Skating With Celebrities,” a Dutch family show.
Kids in general are bombarded with a lot of ads, the researchers said. It’s not a case of dissatisfied children watching more TV, she said.
“Unhappy children are not more frequently exposed to advertising than happy children,” Opree said.