Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Reed, Mary Frances, 1906-||Rockwood, Catherine

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Television and children; Television advertising


The purposes of the study were to determine how television advertising affects the preschool child and his family as consumers and in what ways parents use television advertising as an experience in consumer education for their preschool children. The study attempted: (1) to discover what methods television advertisers in this viewing area use to influence young children to buy their products, (2) to determine how television advertising affects the buying practices of the preschool child and his parents, (3) to find how mothers use television advertising as a consumer education experience for their children, (4) to compare two groups of children to find if there is a significant difference between the television viewing habits of children living in Mobile Home Parks and of children attending a Nursery School. The subjects were the parents of the thirty-four children who attended the Spring 1965 session of the Northern Illinois University Borne Economics Nursery School. The parents of thirty-four Mobil# Home Park children in the same viewing area were included to make a comparison group since the Nursery School children appeared to be a select group. The children were aged two years to four years and eleven month. A questionnaire was devised to be answered by the parents of the children. Parents were asked to report on the television viewing habits of their preschool child is to the frequency of occurrence, often, sometimes, or never. The questions included: observations of the child viewer, consumer learning experiences used by parents with their child, persuasion methods used by the child, parental control of the child's television viewing and the progress he preferred. The findings indicated that the most successful commercials on children's programs were those where a child showed how the products operated, as well as animated cartoons, jingles and "gimmicks** such as a toy in a cereal box. The study also showed that many of theme children asked for television advertised products and that many parents at least sometimes purchased television advertised products. Both groups of mothers did very little to use television advertising as a consumer education experience for their children. A comparison of taste or flavor with other products and a comparison of quality with other products were the consumer education experiences most often used. There were more likenesses than differences between the two groups studied. Some of these are: (1) the young child is being used by advertisers to pressure parents to buy their products, (3)the preschool child is not capable of judging quality of products he sees advertised on television, (3) repeated requests and persuasion were the methods used by the children to pressure parents to buy and (4) the same seven programs were the favorites of both groups. Mobile Home Park children more often (significant at the .901 level) asked their parents to purchase products advertised on television and more of the Nursery School children sometimes asked. Parents of the Nursery School children often chose or forbade programs their children watched, while more of the Mobile Park parents sometimes chose or forbade programs. (significant at the .05 level) The Mobile Home Park parents often bought television advertised products while the Nursery School parents sometimes did. (significant at the .01 level) The findings also indicated (significant at the .01 level) that the Nursery School children more often preferred activities other than television.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 53 pages




Northern Illinois University

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