Fashion brands are important to children

Fashion brands and logos are highly important to many children who have been influenced in their attitudes by their family, peers and celebrity culture. This is the finding of new research published in the international journal Childhood, which stated the recent riots showed how much value some youngsters place on certain clothes - especially sportswear.

The report was carried out following concerns that children are increasingly behaving more like teenagers in the way they use their choice of outfit to shape their identity.

Dr Jane Pilcher, a Sociologist at the University of Leicester - founded in 1921 - noted there are worries surrounding children and fashion, but observed it is only to be expected that youngsters will be influenced by a society dominated by celebrity culture.

She explained mums and dads can play a key role in this relationship, adding: "Parents might give in and buy something they don't necessarily approve of but they can place quite heavy restrictions as to where that item of clothing can be worn."

Dr Brian Young, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Exeter, commented: "Here are a few reasons why youngsters place importance on certain kinds of clothes.

"One is a general tendency for public opinion to perceive 'children growing older younger' so this generation is seen as more precocious than the previous generation and as children are aspirational relative to older ones, they try and act beyond their years as well as others expecting them to do so.

"The other is of course the rise and rise of consumerism and in particular the emergence of 'tweenies' (roughly eight to 13-year-olds) as an important market recently and important markets have strong marketing associated with them - it goes without saying that slightly older youngsters i.e. adolescents have been targeted for a long time.

"Clothes are an important part of material culture, which in itself is a marker of identity and with the development of social identity theory (SIT), the older sociological theories on possessions/consumption functioning as status symbols have been replaced by material culture being used to negotiate or maintain social identities."