Study: Most Tweens Value Fame Over Self-Acceptance

Fame and other individualistic values, such as financial success and physical fitness, top the list of values most important to “tweens” between ages 9 and 11, according to a new study conducted by UCLA researchers and published in the Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace.

In 1997, fame ranked 15th on the list, researchers told, suggesting that the past decade has reshaped the way young people set goals, and how they expect their lives to unfold.

“(Tweens) are unrealistic about what they have to do to become famous,” Patricia Greenfield, Ph.D from the Department of Psychology at UCLA and co-author of this study told CNN. “They may give up on actually preparing for careers and realistic goals.”

“With Internet celebrities and reality TV stars everywhere, the pathway for nearly anyone to become famous, without a connection to hard work and skill, may seem easier than ever,” said Yalda Uhls, a UCLA doctoral student in developmental psychology and lead author of this study. “When being famous and rich is much more important than being kind to others, what will happen to kids as they form their values and their identities?”

Greenfield advises parents to talk with their kids as much as possible about the television and other media they are consuming, helping tweens keep the images they are seeing in healthy perspective.

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  1. by Katie B

    On September 9, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Using the phrase “tweens” or indicating the ages as 9 – 11 is highly optimistic! My sister recently told me that her 6 year old daughter lays in bed and cries at night because she is not famous! Her exact words! In addition, I have 13 – 18 year old students who upload ridiculous youtube videos weekly, assuming that one of these days they will be discovered! Thank you iCarly and others of the like… talentless “stars” to whom our young girls (and boys) are looking up to. We don’t have cable and don’t plan on getting it anytime soo. My 3 year old will not have access to these shows that were supposedly intended for “teens”… shows about H.S. kids should not be marketed to Pre schoolers, and there are PLENTY of Pre schoolers watching… believe me!

  2. by Katie B

    On September 9, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I don’t mean to imply that it is Miranda Cosgrove’s fault that our children feel this need to be famous, nor should I have called her or her peers talentless. I meant more so the programming content and the quality of the teen actors… these are not meaningful scripts where our children are learning anything valuable. As well~ the acting, production and editing leaves much to be desired. It has changed so much in the population of our young children. The loud, crass humor, where it is acceptable to make yourself the center of attention at all possible moments and to never accept responsibility for what consequenses your actions may bring on… (I think actually Drake and Josh was on the forefront of this newer form of bad comedy and teen overacting. Now it is the standard format for anything Nick or Disney) Yikes, I could go on and on… I will shout up. turn off the TV and open a book! Or go to the library and borrow a series like Little House! LOL (one of my all time faves as a kid!!!)