Teenagers and Consumerism

Moreover, notes psychologist Susan Linn, EdD, of the Harvard Medical School, in her book, «Consuming Kids,» published by The New Press last month, U.S. companies market to adolescents and children with an annual budget of over $15 billion, or about two and a half times more than was spent in 1992. They now influence over $600 billion worth of spending.

As a result, teens are inundated with so much marketing about the importance of brands to identity and image, it has changed the way they socialize with each other, interact with adults and view themselves and the world, says child psychologist Allen Kanner, PhD, whose book «Psychology and Consumer Culture: The Struggle for a Good Life in a Material-istic World,» co-edited with Knox College’s Tim Kasser, PhD, is being published by APA this year. To back his point, Kanner cites research on the effects of branding on teenagers, including how it increases their spending, by psychologists such as Velma LaPoint, PhD, of Howard University in Washington, D.C.