|dc.description.abstract||A theoretical understanding of the nature of knowledge and its development in
children was applied to an under-researched area: children's thinking about
television alcohol advertisements. Methodologies were developed which recognise
that children have multiple ways of thinking about things, that learning is a dynamic
process and that knowledge is not always available for verbal report.
Research took two complementary routes. Firstly, cross-sectional studies with
children aged 7 to 10 tapped into children's implicit, pre-explicit and explicit
knowledge, by means of a categorisation study, a story style paradigm and
interviews. Children of all ages found television alcohol advertisements attractive
and particular styles of advertising, e. g. humour, cartoon format or the inclusion of
an animal, increased the popularity of an advertisement. Children's pre-explicit and
explicit responses appeared to be biased by the development of alcohol knowledge.
Secondly, a longitudinal study followed a group of over 100 children aged 9 for three
years, collecting data every six months and investigating the potential influence of a
number of factors on positive alcohol expectancies, a predictor of alcohol behaviour.
New measures provided data on children's alcohol expectancies (Alcohol Beliefs and
Expectancies in Childhood questionnaire), family and peer influences (The
Children's Alcohol Inventory), self-esteem (IAM questionnaire), television viewing
habits (TV Viewing Habits Questionnaire), and exposure to television alcohol
advertisements (Television Advertising Awareness Questionnaire).
The findings suggest a possible long term influence of alcohol advertising around the
age of II on later alcohol expectancies, but that this influence is less than that of peer
behaviour and parental attitudes. It is also suggested that children as young as seven
be included in future research,t hat the style of alcohol advertisements is monitored
closely to minimise their appeal to children and, finally, that applied research should
include methodologies which reflect the state and complexity of children's