Advertising and consumer development

Nancy A. Jennings, Ellen A. Wartella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Research of advertising and marketing practices has a relatively short history. Although some theorizing about child consumers began as early as the 1930s and some researchers began to study the topic in the 1950s and 1960s, most of the advertising research began in the 1970s and 1980s with the growth of research on children in general (Pecora, 1998). A brief review of the articles on advertising, consumerism, or marketing in the current database indicates only about 300 citations on this topic, with the majority being published in the 1970s and 1980s (see Table 6.1). The majority of the studies focus on effects of advertising on children (64% of all citations). Very little attention has been dedicated to exploring the content of children’s advertising (10%), however, more attention has focused on other types of research, including discussions of regulation and literature reviews (26%). The first citations in this database that mention children’s consumerism appear in the 1960s (McNeal, 1969; Wells, 1966). As noted by Wartella (1984), most of the research has been devoted to describing the nature of age-related differences in children’s responses and understanding of advertising content. Other factors such as gender, race, and social class seem to be overlooked, although in some cases the research indicates that these factors are not significant. This chapter explores the nature of research on children’s advertising since its growth in the 1970s. It begins with a review of research concerning the socialization of the child consumer and advances to the role of advertising in the socialization process. Next, attention focuses on the nature of advertising content directed to children and then a larger section focuses on the cognitive, affective, and behavioral effects of advertising on children. Finally, as advertising practices move beyond the home, commercial practices in school are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChildren and Television
Subtitle of host publicationFifty Years of Research
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)1410618048, 9781135251390
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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