Growing up in Macao: A Study of Materialistic Values among Children and Adolescents

Date : 14/01/2010

The Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government will organize an Academic Research Lecture in the Cultural Affairs Bureau Auditorium (Edifício do Instituto Cultural, Tap Seac Square, Macao) at 6:30pm on Friday 22 January. Kara Chan, Professor at the School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University, will give a lecture on “Growing up in Macao: A Study of Materialistic Values among Children and Adolescents”.

Materialism among the younger generation has become a hot topic among parents, educators, marketers and policy makers.  While marketing professionals are keen to promote spending, parents and policy makers are concerned with protecting young consumers from perceived declining moral standards.  Educators want to develop a better way to communicate with young people about wealth.

Macau is one of the most dynamic economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The gaming and tourism sector boosted the Macau's economy with a real growth of 13 percent in the third quarter of 2008, setting new record in the estimates of GDP and per-capita GDP at current prices. The influx of tourists and the expanding gaming facilities bring the potential threat of materialism and the erosion of traditional family values.

A research project in 2008-09 on Macao children and adolescents’ materialistic values obtained a final sample of 667 respondents who were primary and secondary students aged 8 to 17.  Results indicated that children and adolescents in Macao did not endorse high level of materialism values. The mean score of materialism measured by the Youth Materialism Scale was 2.8 on a five point scale. Children and adolescents in the sample were asked how they would like to spend if they were given a windfall of $1,000 Macau dollars. The lecture will discuss the findings of the research and present an analysis of materialistic values scores by demographic groups.

Kara Chan, Professor at the School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University, received her Ph.D. in psychology at City University of Hong Kong. Her research areas include cross cultural advertising and mass media in Hong Kong and China. She has published over sixty journal articles and book chapters. Her articles published in Journal of Consumer Marketing and Young Consumers had won Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence in three consecutive years in 2006 to 2008. She is the co-author of Advertising to Children in China (Chinese University Press, 2004), she edited Advertising and Hong Kong Society (Chinese University Press, 2006) as well as New Vision in Advertising and Public Relations (City University of Hong Kong Press, 2006). She was a Fulbright Scholar at Bradley University, Illinois.  In 2008, she was awarded a research grant to study Materialistic Values among Children and Adolescents in Macao.

The lecture will be given in Cantonese with Portuguese and English simultaneous interpretation. Entrance is free. For further details, please contact Ms. Chu of the Macao Historical Archives of the Cultural Affairs Bureau at 85986537.