Published July 2007
Children’s lives have been transformed over the past century. Family incomes have increased, children lead more solitary lives, attitudes to childhood have changed, new products have been developed and commercial pressures on children have increased. The importance of these commercial pressures is analysed. Do children understand advertising? How is child poverty affected? How does increased materialism affect psychological well-being? The issues raised for public policy are discussed in terms of children’s freedom, the rights of children and the protection of children. Finally, the future of childhood is considered and choices between constraining commercial pressures or not are considered.