Children's Understanding of the Instrumental Value of Products and Brands

Deborah Roedder John, Lan Nguyen Chaplin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Gelman and Echelbarger (2019—this issue) provide a valuable discussion about children's understanding of the inferred or nonobvious features of objects, which has implications for how children value products. We further this conversation by examining how children value products and brands as a means for meeting important goals, which we refer to as instrumental valuation. Specifically, we examine developmental trends in instrumental valuation for three goals—self-concept development, self-presentation, and happiness. Across these areas, we find that children place greater value on products and brands for meeting these goals as they grow older, particularly during late childhood and early adolescence. We conclude with a discussion of how age differences in instrumental valuation add to the general conversation about how children of different ages value objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-335
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Society for Consumer Psychology

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adolescent consumers
  • Child consumers
  • Happiness
  • Self-brand connections
  • Self-presentation


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