Preschoolers and Advertising: A Systematic Literature Review and Future Research Agenda on the Effects of Advertising on Preschool Children

Femke Loose, Liselot Hudders, Ini Vanwesenbeeck, Steffi De Jans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Preschool children’s (ages three to five) advertising exposure is expected to increase over the coming years, mainly due to their changed media use. This increasing exposure might be problematic as research has shown a correlation with unfavorable outcomes, such as obesogenic eating tendencies. However, research on preschoolers and advertising is not unequivocal, and, to the best of our knowledge, no literature reviews are currently available. Therefore, this article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the academic literature (N = 92) on advertising and preschool children published between 1980 and 2021 and so propose a future research agenda. The analysis revealed that little attention has been paid to preschool children’s exposure to and impact from embedded advertising formats (e.g., YouTube advertising). The main interest in the included studies was on preschool children’s nutrition, which was reflected in both the constructs studied (e.g., food preferences) and the publication outlets (e.g., Appetite). Further, studies focusing on behavioral outcomes, such as purchase requests, are limited, and therefore little is known about the long-term impact of advertising exposure in preschool children. Finally, most studies do not explicitly disclose a theoretical framework. Future studies should address these issues to catch up with preschool children’s advertising reality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of advertising
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • COPE
  • DEFENSE
  • LEVEL
  • MATERIALISM
  • OVERWEIGHT/OBESITY
  • PERSUASION KNOWLEDGE
  • RESPONSES

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