Parent-child communications about consumption and advertising in China

Kara Chan*, James U. McNeal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


The current study examines how mainland Chinese parents communicate with their children about consumption and advertising. A survey of 1,665 parents of children aged six to 14 in Beijing, Nanjing and Chengdu was conducted in December 2001 to March 2002. Using Moore and Moschis's typology of family communication patterns, Chinese parents are classified into four types including laissez-faire, protective, pluralistic, and consensual parents. Results indicated Chinese parents are classified primarily as consensual in type with both high socio- as well as concept-oriented communication. Family communication patterns differ among parents of different demographic groups as well as among different dyad relationships. Parents with a higher education level and families with a higher household income engaged more frequently in concept-oriented communication. Pluralistic and consensual parents discussed with children about television commercials more often than laissez-faire and protective parents. Consensual parents perceived they have a greater influence on children's attitude toward advertising than laissez-faire parents. Implication for marketers and advertisers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-334
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Parents
  • Children (kinship(
  • Communication
  • Consumption
  • Advertising


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