Advertising and Young People's Critical Reasoning Abilities: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Packer, Jessica, Croker, Helen, Goddings, Anne-Lise, Boyland, Emma J ORCID: 0000-0001-8384-4994, Stansfield, Claire, Russell, Simon J and Viner, Russell M
(2022) Advertising and Young People's Critical Reasoning Abilities: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. PEDIATRICS, 150 (6). e2022057780-.

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<h4>Background and objectives</h4>Young people are exposed to an abundance of advertising for unhealthy products (eg, unhealthy foods, tobacco, alcohol). Because of their developing cognition, children may not be able to understand the intent of advertising. However, advertising restrictions often assume that adolescents have critical reasoning capacity and can resist the effects of advertising. This review seeks to assess whether the evidence supports this assumption.<h4>Methods</h4>Ten databases were searched in December 2020. Inclusion criteria were participants aged 6 to 17 years, any advertising exposure, objectively measured understanding or attitudinal outcome, a comparison, control, and between-group comparison. This study included all languages and excluded studies published pre-2010. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality.<h4>Results</h4>Thirty-eight articles were included. Meta-analysis of 9 studies with attitudinal outcomes indicated that unhealthy product advertising generated more positive brand or product attitudes compared with neutral or no advertising control in all ages. There were significant effects for digital and nondigital advertising formats. We found greater understanding did not protect against the impact of advertising on brand or product attitudes. Limitations include the inability to meta-analyze the impact of advertising on understanding or the influence of age.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Evidence shows that the attitudes of young people were influenced by advertising. Critical reasoning abilities did not appear to be fully developed during adolescence and not found to be protective against the impact of advertising. Policymakers should ensure regulations to restrict marketing of unhealthy commodities protects adolescents as well as younger children.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Attitude, Marketing, Advertising, Food, Adolescent, Child, Tobacco Products
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 14:58
Last Modified: 20 May 2023 01:18
DOI: 10.1542/peds.2022-057780
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