Research by Ipsos MORI for UNICEF UK found that children in the UK feel “trapped” in a materialistic culture and do not spend enough time with their families.
Parents are making up for the time they lose out on together as a family by buying their children gadgets and branded clothes due to the pressure from society - and advertising - to own material goods, the research claims.
A total of seven schools were recruited to take part in this research from each country (21 schools in total), with two discussion groups, (or one discussion group and two in-depth interviews) in each school, making a total of 36 groups and 12 in-depth interviews. Across the seven schools we also included one group of children with behavioural difficulties and one group of children with special educational needs, as well as 2 groups where the majority of pupils were from ethnic minority backgrounds to ensure the full range of children were represented as part of this research.
Our methodology is underpinned by Ecological Systems Theory (e.g. Bronfenbrenner,1979; Comer et al., 2004) which sees child development as part of a broader social, cultural, economic and political set of systems. Bronfenbrenner suggests research to inform policy should take place within natural settings and that theory finds greater practical application when contextually relevant. He famously stated that “basic science needs public policy even more than public policy needs basic science".
1. encourage businesses to pay a living wage, so parents don't have to take on several jobs to make a living, which affects the amount of time they can spend with their children2. insist local authorities assess the impact of public spending cuts on children so that funding is protected for play facilities and free leisure activities3. follow Sweden's example and stop advertisements being shown before, during or after programmes aimed at under-12s.