While several studies have examined the roles of husbands and wives in making decisions about products, few have examined the impact of children. This article reports the results of a 1985 study of the influence of children on families. The study examines children's influence in each of four stages of the purchase decision, for 25 products, and by age of the children. For child‐centered (e.g., toys, children's clothing, food) and child‐used products or services (e.g., vacations, restaurant choices, outside entertainment), the study shows that children are perceived as influential by most households. Older children are perceived as more influential than younger children for nearly all the products studied. The study concludes that “family” decision making is quite different from “husband‐wife” decision making.
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