Reversing trends: Children and consumption

Date of publication: June 15, 1992

Author: Albert J. Yesk

Abstract:

Everyone is aware that the lives of American children in the last decade of the Twentieth Century differ in many ways from those of previous generations, particularly the lives of the famous "Baby Boom" generation. Baby Boomers grew up in the social and economic stability of the period stretching from the very traditional 19 50s to the "Me Decade" of the 1970s. The children who are the subject of this presentation are between the ages of 6 and 17. They were born between 1974 and 1985 a period marked by economic turmoil, rapid change in international relations and continuing evolution in the fundamental attitudes and values of the American population. The world these children confront gives them an outlook which is in some ways extremely different than that of preceding generations. In other ways, these children prove once again that there are some aspects of childhood which are apparently timeless. This presentation examines and describes the attitudes, lifestyles and purchasing habits of American children as consumers. It is based on the findings from the Yankelovich MONITOR r (2,500 personal interviews with adult Americans ages 16 and over, conducted annually since 1970) and the Yankelovich Youth M0NIT0R tm (1200 American youths ages 6 to 17 conducted annually since 1987). Youth MONITOR allows marketers to go to the source itself, the children, to explore, in depth, their understanding of, and attitudes toward, the world today.

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