What have kids learned from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, iCarly, and Hannah Montana? How to be famous!
Or at least, they THINK they can all be famous.
A new study published in the Journal of Psychology Research on Cyberspace, found television shows popular with children aged 9 to 11 now hold “fame” as their No. 1 value, while it was ranked 15th in 1997.
With financial success and physical fitness following fame on children's list of attainable goals these days, researchers believe the shift in values may have a negative effect on the future goals and accomplishments of this generations youth.
Dr. Patricia Greenfield, from the Department of Psychology at UCLA and co-author of the study, said:
"(Tweens) are unrealistic about what they have to do to become famous. They may give up on actually preparing for careers and realistic goals.”
Yalda Uhls, the lead author of the study, went further to say:
"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. 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?"
We hope we're not losing some of the future's brightest scientists and doctors to the lures of stardom, but it is a legitimate concern especially with shows like American Idol or America's Got Talent only increasing the average citizen's dreams of being "discovered".
Hopefully kids are looking up to their parents and teachers to learn that you don't need to be on a television screen to make a difference in the lives around you.
Tags: america, career, doctors, hannah montana, icarly, parents, research, scientists, teachers, television, tweens, ucla