A recent study provides significant evidence on the fact that children who are unhappy are often more materialistic than children who are happy. According to the study, children who were not nearly as satisfied with their lives often become more materialistic over a period of time, especially when they are exposed to different forms of advertising. The leader of the study, Suzanna Opree, said that advertising teaches children that in order to feel good or happy; they need certain possessions, which is where materialism and happiness connect with one another. It is also believed that children who are more materialistic can end up being less happy later on in life, especially when they reach their teenage years and adulthood.
Opree is a research associated for the University of Amsterdam’s School of Communication Research. The study in which she led has recently appeared online just a few days ago, providing insight on children and their ways with materialistic behavior. From the study, there were a total of around 466 children who participated in a number of different surveys online in October of 2006 and 2007. According to the study, materialism means that an individual needs a possession in order to feel happy or successful. Throughout the survey, children were asked to respond to certain questions. One example of a question within the survey was how children responded to other children who have more possessions or certain brand names. The children were also asked to rate their own happiness based on their life at home, their relationship with their parents, their relationship with friends, and the way they feel when they are at school.
It was also made clear that children are exposed to a whole lot of commercials, especially during certain television shows, such as SpongeBob SquarePants. Opree said, “Estimates on the numbers of TV ads children are annually exposed to vary from 10,000 in Britain (from a 2007 study) to 40,000 in the U.S. (from a 2001 study).” She also said, “Unhappy children are not more frequently exposed to advertising than happy children.” While the children are not overly exposed to advertising more than those who are happy, they are often just more susceptible to the effects that advertising has because of their current state of mind.
So what can be done to help these children? Researchers have suggested that parents help their children find happiness in other things, aside from possessions. They believe it is important for parents to ensure their children find happiness through making friends, playing, and through the love that they can give to their children.Relationship between Materialism and Sadness by Harrison Barnes