Researchers at Harris Interactive recently collaborated with several marketing professors to provide a more accurate portrait of materialistic youth by examining the role of thankfulness in offsetting the negative social effects of materialism. The results determined that increasing materialism among youth does not immediately translate into less generous behavior; rather, gratitude plays an important role in influencing their level of generosity.
The research shows that youth (ages 8 to 18) who are more likely to be materialistic are less likely to be generous. Those who are materialistic but not thankful or appreciative for the things they have are more likely to not display generosity.
Responses regarding "buying things" indicate:
Happiness is defined differently by teens and tweens:
Much of the teen focus is on technology, such as
Tweens are most likely to say
Mom is still an important figure in the lives of both tweens and teens, as majorities (91% of tweens and 77% of teens) say that Mom makes them happy. Overall, Friends (85%), Grandma (69%), Dad (67%) and pets (58%) round out the top five of those people and pets that make youth happy.
Although youth seem focused on money and possessions, they also enjoy helping others and are appreciative of the things and people in their lives, says the report. They:
Aric Rindfleisch, Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, summarizes the findings by saying "... although parents may be able to do little to squelch materialistic messages, they may be able limit the adverse effects of materialism by cultivating a sense of thankfulness and gratitude in their children."
Read the complete summary and see detailed charts and data here.
Correction: In yesterday's brief Traditional Media Advertising Gain Small in 2007, the proper heading was inadvertently left out of the final chart entitled 2007 Projections By Medium (Ranked By Growth Rate). The corrected brief can be seen here.