The perception of media messages by preschool children

Blandína Šramová (Researcher at Faculty of Education, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovakia)
Jirí Pavelka (Researcher at Tomas Bata University, Zlín, Czech Republic)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Publication date: 19 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to ascertain how preschool children consume media, which types of media content they are sensitive to and how children affect the shopping behavior of their parents. In other words, the study aimed at revealing whether distinctions occur among the selection of the media, among preferences of media products and forms, among concepts within advertising, among the attractiveness of media contents, among the types of influence by advertising products and among the means by which boys and girls have impact on their parents.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is focused on the analyses of the perception of advertising messages and media consumption of children aged from two to seven years (N = 55) and their parents (N = 55) in the Czech Republic. The semi-structured interviews with the parents and children were used as the main research method. The children’s drawings focused on popular advertising were used as a supplementary method. The final findings were subjected to qualitative analyses – to thematic content analyses.

Findings

The analyzed interviews have revealed four key factors which frame and express the Czech preschool children’s reception and consumption of the media and their consumer behavior: media, media format and media content choice of preschool children; ritualization of the media consumption processes in preschool children; identification of advertising appeals within the media content in preschool children; and influence of media (and a social and cultural environment) on shopping behavior of preschool children. The findings are summarized in the table and visualized in thematic map.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size is small; therefore, it is not possible to generalize the results to all preschool children.

Originality/value

The study provides an explanation of the perception of media messages by preschool children from a broader perspective, from the children and their parents’ point of view.

Keywords

Citation

Blandína Šramová and Jirí Pavelka (2017) "The perception of media messages by preschool children", Young Consumers, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 121-140

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-11-2016-00643

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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