Chinese children's understanding of commercial communications: A comparison of cognitive development and social learning models

Kara K W CHAN*, James U. McNeal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Parents and the media, especially television, have long been seen as important socializing agents that have impact on children's consumer socialization. The objective of this study conducted in China was to test the relative contribution of the cognitive developmental model and the social learning model with a focus on television and parents as socializing agents. Using a sample of 1758 children ages 6-14 and their parents living in three Mainland Chinese cities with different levels of advertising development, we examined children's understanding of television advertising by age utilizing a verbal method. Results of logistic regression analyses indicated that the cognitive developmental model made a greater contribution to predicting children's understanding of commercial communications than the social learning model. Chinese parents were not important socializing agents and television played some role in children's consumer socialization. Gender, household income and the media environment had impact on children's understanding of commercial communications. Girls and children from families with high household income had a higher understanding. Children residing in cities with the presence of public service advertising had a lower understanding of commercial communications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-56
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Advertising
  • Children
  • Consumer socialization
  • Social learning
  • Television

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