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Article

Leah Watkins, Rob Aitken and Jess Ford

A sustainable future requires that we empower our children to not only make green consumer choices but also consider the wider issues of sustainable consumption. This…

Abstract

Purpose

A sustainable future requires that we empower our children to not only make green consumer choices but also consider the wider issues of sustainable consumption. This paper aims to investigate suitable measures to evaluate children’s sustainable consumption and production (SCP) knowledge, attitudes and behaviour and develop and test intervention content aimed at improving literacy in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method approach was adopted to develop measurement and intervention materials for SCP. 21 Year Eight (12-13-year-old) New Zealand children participated in one-hour focus groups where they completed scales to measure their sustainable consumption attitudes two major environmental values, behaviours The middle school environmental literacy survey and knowledge and participated in discussions to evaluate the SCP knowledge intervention content and questions developed.

Findings

A qualitative analysis of group discussion was used to test the understandability, perceived usefulness and level of difficulty of the intervention booklet to inform its further development. The results show children’s (prior) knowledge score was highly correlated with their attitudes, and attitudes were highly correlated with both intention and behaviour scores. The paired t tests demonstrated significant differences in the pre- and post-intervention knowledge scores.

Research limitations/implications

The measures and intervention content piloted in this study fill an important gap in existing literature, addressing the lack of appropriate measures and resources to encourage and enhance children’s important role in contributing to a sustainable consumption future.

Originality/value

The development of a measurable intervention will enable the establishment of a platform for the continued and participatory development of sustainable consumption and production resources for children.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Keywords

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Article

Rob Aitken, Leah Watkins and Sophie Kemp

The purpose of this study is to understand what a sustainable future would look like and the nature of the changes needed to achieve it. Continued reliance on economic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand what a sustainable future would look like and the nature of the changes needed to achieve it. Continued reliance on economic growth to meet the demands of a growing population is unsustainable and comes at an unacceptable social and environmental cost. Given these increasing demands, radical changes to present practices of production and consumption are needed to enable a sustainable future.

Design/methodology/approach

To address this the projective technique of backcasting was used in a pilot study to explore student visions of a sustainable future. An integrative framework comprising housing, clothing, travel, leisure and food provided the structure for six focus group discussions.

Findings

Thematic analysis identified three key characteristics of a sustainable consumption future, namely, efficiency, sharing and community and three critical elements, namely, the role of government, education and technology, necessary for its achievement.

Research limitations/implications

Demonstrating the usefulness of backcasting will encourage its application in a wider range of consumption contexts with a broader range of participants. The vision of a sustainable future provides a blueprint that identifies its nature, and the basis upon which decisions to achieve it can be made.

Originality/value

The research introduces the technique of backcasting and demonstrates its usefulness when dealing with complex problems, where there is a need for radical change and when the status quo is not sustainable. Unexpectedly, results suggest a commitment to prosocial values, collaborative experience, collective action and the importance of community. Research and social implications demonstrating the usefulness of backcasting will encourage its application in a wider range of consumption contexts with a broader range of participants. The vision of a sustainable future provides a blueprint that identifies its nature, and the basis upon which decisions to achieve it can be made.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Keywords

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Article

Kirsten Jane Robertson, Robert Aitken, Maree Thyne and Leah Watkins

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.

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Keywords

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Article

Maree Thyne, Kirsten Robertson, Leah Watkins and Olly Casey

Children are familiar with retail outlets (especially supermarkets) and the reality of shopping from an increasingly early age. In turn, retailers are actively engaging…

Abstract

Purpose

Children are familiar with retail outlets (especially supermarkets) and the reality of shopping from an increasingly early age. In turn, retailers are actively engaging this young market, targeting them through various promotional strategies. One popular strategy adopted by grocery retailers is giveaway collectible set items. The purpose of this paper is to question the ethicality of such campaigns, within the framework of vulnerable consumers by examining children’s opinions of the campaigns and the supermarkets who run them, and the drivers of children’s involvement in the campaigns.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative focus groups were employed with 67 children aged five to ten years. Focus groups were made up of children in similar age groups to cluster responses by age and allow for comparisons. Thematic analysis was undertaken and responses were coded into themes.

Findings

Children were initially driven to collect through promotional advertising or because a third party offered them a collectible. The drivers for subsequent collecting differed between age groups, with younger children more focussed on themes around play and older children (seven and above) collecting through habit, because it was a craze amongst their peers and therefore the collections became items of social currency. Children’s perceptions of the supermarkets motivations also differed by age. Younger children thought supermarkets gave the collectibles away as “gifts” for altruistic reasons. The older children articulated a clear understanding of the economic motives of the organisation including: to attract children to their stores, to encourage pester power and to increase revenue by encouraging customers to buy more. The older children questioned the ethics of the collectible campaigns, referring to them as scams.

Research limitations/implications

The findings extend the important discussion on the nature of children’s vulnerability to advertising by showing that the children’s vulnerability stretches beyond their ability to understand advertising intent. Despite older children in the present study being cognisant of retailers’ intentions they were still vulnerable to the scheme; the embeddedness of the scheme in the social lives of the children meant they lacked agency to opt out of it. Further, the finding that the scheme transcended boundaries in the children’s lives, for instance, being associated with social currency at school, highlights the potential negative impact such schemes can have on the well-being of children.

Originality/value

Until now, research has investigated the motivations that children have to collect, but previous studies have focussed on collections which have been determined by the children. This paper presents the opinions and perceptions of the children who are directly targeted by commercial organisations to collect and raises concerns around the ethicality of such schemes.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 47 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article

Leah Watkins, Robert Aitken, Maree Thyne, Kirsten Robertson and Dina Borzekowski

The purpose of this paper is to understand the factors influencing young children’s (aged three to five years) understanding of brand symbolism.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the factors influencing young children’s (aged three to five years) understanding of brand symbolism.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple hierarchical regression was used to analyse the relationships between age, gender and environmental factors, including family and the media, on the development of brand symbolism in pre-school children based on 56 children and parent dyad interviews.

Findings

Results confirmed the primary influence of age, television exposure and parental communication style on three to five-year-old children’s understanding of brand symbolism. The study demonstrates that the tendency to infer symbolic user attributes and non-product-related associations with brands starts as early as two years, and increases with age throughout the pre-school years. Children exposed to more television and less critical parental consumer socialisation strategies are more likely to prefer branded products, believe that brands are better quality and that they make people happy and popular.

Social implications

Identifying the factors that influence the development of symbolic brand associations in pre-school children provides an important contribution to public policy discussions on the impact of marketing to young children.

Originality/value

The paper extends existing research by considering, for the first time, the role of environmental factors in pre-schooler’s understanding of brand symbolism. The results provide a more informed basis for discussion about the impact of marketing messages on very young children and the environmental factors that may lead to a more critical engagement with brands.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Abstract

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 50 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article

Leah Watkins

Cross‐cultural research in marketing has been dominated by survey‐based quantitative approaches; however, the assumption of prior validity required for the adoption of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Cross‐cultural research in marketing has been dominated by survey‐based quantitative approaches; however, the assumption of prior validity required for the adoption of the survey approach to values in cross‐cultural research has yet to be established. This paper aims to review the literature and outlines the problems of the survey‐based approach to cross‐cultural values research. These criticisms relate both to the choice of the method and its execution. The paper outlines the multiplicative effects of these problems, that threaten the validity of the survey methodology in this context, and suggests a methodological alternative.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews and synthesises the relevant literature on conceptual and methodological issues pertinent to the survey approach to values research in a cross‐cultural context.

Findings

A review of the literature suggests numerous methodological problems that threaten the validity and reliability of the survey approach to cross‐cultural values research. This review exposes a methodological gap that can be filled by a qualitative approach to the study of values in cross‐cultural research. In particular, the paper advocates means‐end methodology as offering significant strengths and addressing several of the weaknesses of the survey‐based approach to cross‐cultural values research.

Originality/value

The paper synthesises the literature on methodological issues in cross‐cultural values research, bringing together disparate criticisms which reveal the range of unresolved problems with the empirical, survey‐based approach to cross‐cultural values research; the paper also offers a suggestion for an alternative methodological approach. The means‐end approach is increasingly being used in various research areas; this paper highlights its appropriateness in a cross‐cultural context, as an alternative to predefined and culturally determined measures that limit our understanding of cross‐cultural values. Means‐end addresses many of the specific weaknesses of the survey method identified in the literature review. This discussion of methodological issues has implications for the field of cross‐cultural research more generally and suggests a critical re‐assessment of cross‐cultural methods is needed.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article

Abstract

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Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Abstract

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Young Consumers, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Abstract

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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