Materialism in Children

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Children and Materialism America has often been viewed by other countries as a privileged country with plenty to go around for everyone. This is not always true because there are still families in the United States that live in poverty or in low income situations. Though lower or middle class families are normal in the United States, we are still viewed as the most materialistic nation in the world. Is it easier to become materialistic in Americas society today? Is it any different for children? Are people becoming more materialistic in today's society? Materialism is defined as “a personal value in which gaining material wealth is an important life focus” (Hartnett 2) or “an orientation which views material goods and money as important for personal happiness and social progress” (Achenriener 2). Many believe that American society is based around the belief that the more material items you own the better, but is this actually true? “Americans like to shop. We like big stuff and we like lots of it. Everything in our lives is getting bigger, from vehicles to houses to TV screens and bath tubs” (Lankford 8). “Shopping is viewed as patriotic; credit lines arrive and expand in our mailboxes nearly every day. And we are bombarded with adds that tell us to buy our way to security, happiness, friendship, and sex” (Lankford 8), but are there other reasons as to why we, and our children, become this way? School, church, peers and the mass media can affect anyone in negative ways (Achenriener 3). Children have not really been the center of study for materialistic research. "Materialism has long been interest to consumer researchers but research has centered on adult consumers not children or teens" (Chaplin 2). In recent studies it was theorized that because a lot of behavior is learned at a young age then it may be children, not adults, that are becoming more
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