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 CNN.com, 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.
(image via: http://www.visualphotos.com)