YoungMinds – UNICEF report highlights the scourge of materialism on British children and Young People


14th September 2011 UNICEF report highlights the scourge of materialism on British children and Young People – YoungMinds

Commenting on today’s Unicef/Ipsos Mori Children’s Wellbeing in the UK, Sweden and Spain: The role of Inequality and Materialism Lucie Russell, Director of Campaigns at YoungMinds said:

“The study rightly highlights the scourge of materialism and all its pervading influence on British children and young people. Young people are slaves to status symbols in ways that did not exert the same pressures as in the past.

“The constant need for the latest mobile phones, Xbox games and new brands of trainers means young people are ever wanting, never satisfied and constantly exerting pressure on their parents to get them what they want.

“Image is everything, and this was illustrated in the recent riots with the targeting of those shops that stock the desired items. Anyone with children knows this starts young and we as adults are yet to fully take responsibility for this situation and think seriously about what we can do to limit the dangerous influence materialism has on young people.

The report also makes clear that children need quality time with both parents, the chief providers of attachment and bonding, the safety of clear boundaries that are followed through, and fresh air and exercise.

“All these things are crucial to the building of wellbeing, social skills and emotional regulation. If we want to produce responsible citizens we need to take the Unicef report seriously and learn lessons about how we are raising the next generation”.


Notes to editors:

1. YoungMinds is the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity committed to improving the mental health and emotional well-being of children and empowering their parents and carers. For further information go to

2. For further information and to arrange interviews please contact Chris Leaman on 020 7089 5066 or 07813 810114 or email

3. The Unicef report can be found here

YoungMinds Parents helpline: 0808 802 5544 Keep up to date with YoungMinds. Follow us on Twitter and make friends with us on Facebook

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