Nav: Home

The secret to raising a smart shopper: Pick the right parenting style

December 15, 2016

Have you ever wondered how to raise children who will become wise consumers once they are adults?

It turns out that parents are the primary agents who will socialize their children -- more than friends, other adults or organizations such as churches. To find out which parenting styles help children best learn skills and attitudes needed to be smart consumers, researchers analyzed data from 73 studies nationwide. The results of their meta-analysis are available online in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

The researchers created categories to define four basic parenting styles. Authoritative parents are more likely to tell children what they want them to do while also explaining why, which the researchers describe as "restrictive" and "warm" communication. These parents tend to relate quite effectively with their children and expect them to act maturely and follow family rules, while also allowing a certain degree of autonomy.

Authoritarian parents are also restrictive, but not as likely to exhibit as much warmth in their communication, explains researcher Les Carlson, a professor of marketing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "They are more likely to tell a child what to do and not explain why," he says.

Neglecting parents offer little guidance for their children's development and limited monitoring of activities. Indulgent parents are lenient, compliant, and give children adult rights without expecting them to take on responsibilities.

The researchers found that many of the studies showed children of authoritative parents had the best outcomes when interacting with the world around them. These children consumed healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, and made safer choices such as wearing a bike helmet. They also provided valuable opinions on family consumption decisions.

"I think that our culture has changed over time to be more permissive with children, but we found a lot of evidence that demonstrated that it is okay to be restrictive with kids," Carlson says. "It's also important to explain to kids why the restrictions are important."

The analysis also showed that children of restrictive parents were less likely to engage in cyberbullying, theft, vandalism, drug use and feelings of having an unattractive body shape, what the study authors termed "negative consumer socialization outcomes."

To apply these findings to daily life, parents could proactively train their children by doing activities like taking them shopping and guiding them in decisions, Carlson says. "For example, parents can talk about why they are skeptical of advertising they may see in a store to teach children how to filter information," he says.

"Watching television with children is another opportunity to engage with them in conversation about what they are seeing to teach them how to be fully informed consumers."
-end-
This study will appear in the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

See more information at: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-consumer-psychology/forthcoming-articles/meta-analysis-parental-style-and-consumer-socialization

For more information, contact:

Professor Leslie Carlson
Marketing Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
lcarlson3@unl.edu
402-472-3156

Society for Consumer Psychology

Related Children Articles:

Preterm children have similar temperament to children who were institutionally deprived
A child's temperament is affected by the early stages of their life.
Only-children more likely to be obese than children with siblings
Families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single child.
Children living in countryside outperform children living in metropolitan area in motor skills
Residential density is related to children's motor skills, engagement in outdoor play and organised sports. that Finnish children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age peers in the metropolitan area.
Hispanic and black children more likely to miss school due to eczema than white children
In a study that highlights racial disparities in the everyday impact of eczema, new research shows Hispanic and black children are more likely than white children to miss school due to the chronic skin disease.
Children, their parents, and health professionals often underestimate children's higher weight status
More than half of parents underestimated their children's classification as overweight or obese -- children themselves and health professionals also share this misperception, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK (April 28-May 1).
Children with autism are in 'in-tune' with mom's feelings like other children
New research addresses limitations of prior autism spectrum disorder (ASD) studies on facial emotion recognition by using five distinct facial emotions in unfamiliar and familiar (mom) faces to test the influence of familiarity in children with and without ASD.
First Nations children and youth experiencing more pain than non-First Nations children
First Nations children and youth are experiencing more pain than non-First Nations children, but do not access specialist or mental health services at the same rate as their non-First Nations peers, found new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Grandparents: Raising their children's children, they get the job done
Millions of children are being raised solely by their grandparents, with numbers continuing to climb as the opioid crisis and other factors disrupt families.
How do you assess pain in children who can't express themselves? New research identifies priorities in identifying pain in nonverbal children with medical complexity
Pain is a frequent problem for children with complex medical conditions -- but many of them are unable to communicate their pain verbally.
Under age 13, suicide rates are roughly double for black children vs. white children
A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics shows that racial disparities in suicide rates are age-related.
More Children News and Children Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.