Correlates of parental mediation of pre-schooler’s advertising exposure

Kirsten Jane Robertson (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Robert Aitken (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Maree Thyne (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Leah Watkins (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Publication date: 21 November 2016



This paper aims to explore the correlates of parental mediation of pre-schoolers’ television advertising exposure, focusing on the influence of other siblings in the home.


Participants included 486 parents of pre-schoolers. A cross-sectional design involving a quantitative online survey measured the number and age of children in the home, parents’ mediation styles and advertising attitudes, parents’ levels of education and pre-schoolers’ television exposure.


Co-viewing was the most frequent viewing experience followed by instructive and restrictive mediation. A univariate analysis revealed that parental education and negative attitudes towards advertising were associated with less viewing time for pre-schoolers, although the presence of other siblings mediated this relationship. Logistic regression revealed mediation styles were associated with parental education, attitudes towards advertising, viewing time and the presence of other siblings. Pre-schoolers with an older sibling were less likely to experience co-viewing and more likely to experience instructive mediation.

Research limitations/implications

The findings revealed that parents of pre-schoolers are concerned about advertising to children and actively mediate their child’s exposure. Parental attitudes and education, and sibling composition influence pre-schoolers’ television consumption, and pre-schoolers with an older sibling might be most vulnerable to negative media effects. The sample was limited to primarily higher educated parents and might not generalize.


The study extends the field by focusing on pre-schoolers and provides novel insights into the influence of sibling composition on television consumption.



Robertson, K.J., Aitken, R., Thyne, M. and Watkins, L. (2016), "Correlates of parental mediation of pre-schooler’s advertising exposure", Young Consumers, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 337-349.



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