affective design

Exploring Emotional Design

Materialism and Self-Esteem in Children

Medical News Today has an article about how feelings of self-esteem affect materialistic values in youths and adolescents…Researchers looked at how three age groups (8-9 year olds, 12-13 year olds, and 16-18 year olds) valued material objects such as “stuffed animals,” “money” and “nice sports equipment” compared to how they valued non-materialistic notions like “being with “friends,” “being good at sports” and “helping others”. The children were also asked open-ended questions about things that made them feel happy.

Materialistic values were found to increase between 8-9 and 12-13 year olds, and to drop between the 12-13 and 16-18 age groups. From another study, the researchers determined that

“self-esteem was a key factor in a child’s level of materialism. Children with lower self-esteem valued possessions significantly more than children with higher self-esteem.”

Insights like this offer an easy target for advertisers, marketers and product developers. We all remember how difficult those teenage years were. 😉

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