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Kids' pester power latest victim of credit crunch

New research from ASDA released today reveals the extent to which the recession is having an impact on children’s lives and their attitudes to money.

The comprehensive study follows interviews with more than 1000 parents and 600 children. It highlights how parents are greatly underestimating the effect that the credit crunch is having on their children, not just in their attitude to finances, but also how worried they are about their parents’ wellbeing.

While only 18% of parents thought their children were concerned about the credit crunch, in reality the figure is much higher – more than half (55%) of kids said they were worried about the impact the recession was having on their mum and dad.

In addition, only 16% of parents thought their children were worried about financial issues, compared to nearly half of all children (49%) who said they now worry about money.

The research also uncovered that the credit crunch generation have developed a more frugal outlook on life, potentially signalling the demise of pester power. 44% of kids admitted they are not asking their parents for things that ‘they don’t really need’ compared to before the recession. Parents are also pushing back more, with 56% simply saying no more to their kids.

In addition 44% of children said their lives had become worse since the beginning of the credit crunch, with more than two thirds of 12-16 year olds (68%) saying they are worried about getting a job when they are older.

Paul Kelly, External Affairs Director for ASDA said: “This is the first time a report has examined what impact the recession is having on our nation’s children. What comes through most strongly is the disparity between parents’ perceptions of what their children are thinking, and the reality.”

“There is no doubt that the downturn is having a dramatic impact on kids and their behaviour with pester power on the wane for the first time since the War.”

“Our research provides a valuable insight into how the next generation’s attitudes towards money are changing, and how this will impact their purchasing decisions in the future. Frugality is now a reality across all age groups and social backgrounds. This shift is significant and is set to continue after the recession has been and gone.”

To help parents keep their kids occupied this summer Asda is relaunching its free sports for kids initiative called Sporting Chance.

Mr Kelly adds: “It’s important we help parents during these difficult times, which is why our free sports scheme is so timely. As a result more than 150,000 places will be available at free sessions during each of the school holidays throughout 2009.”

Vouchers providing access to free kids sporting sessions e.g. football, athletics, basketball etc, are available from ASDA stores and via"(“:
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**Other key findings from the report include:

  • The rise of ‘mirroring’ Children have started to ‘mirror’ the money saving activities of their parents by making things last, being less demanding and choosing less expensive brands.
  • When it comes to finances, children are learning from their parents’ mistakes: 46% of children said they were less likely to make the same mistakes as grown-ups when they were older. 78% of children agreed they were much more aware of how to budget or be more careful with money.
  • 54% of older children aged 12-16 think they are less likely to go to university while 34% of older children think they will live at home for longer.

The research, which polled over 1,000 parents with children aged 0-16 years, and over 600 children aged 7-16 and was conducted by Platypus Research Limited.

Posted in Press Centre on 13 July 2009