Study: Tween TV today is all about fame
August 5th, 2011
09:39 AM ET

Study: Tween TV today is all about fame

What do tweens value most?  If you are thinking honesty or self-acceptance think again.

To find out, researchers say, watch their favorite TV shows. The  values the shows promote above everything else, according to a new study from the University of  California, Los Angeles, is fame. Other individualistic values, such as financial success and physical fitness are also high on the wish list.

The study, published in the Journal of Psychology Research on Cyberspace, found shows popular with children aged 9 to 11 now hold “fame” as their No. 1 value.  Fame ranked 15th in 1997. This raises red flags for researchers, who say the shift in values over the last 10 years may have a negative effect on the future goals and accomplishments of American youth.

“(Tweens) are unrealistic about what they have to do to become famous,” Patricia Greenfield, Ph.D from the Department of Psychology at UCLA and co-author of this study told CNN. “They may give up on actually preparing for careers and realistic goals.”

"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,” said Yalda Uhls, a UCLA doctoral student in developmental psychology and lead author of this study. “”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?"

The study found that one of the main reasons for a decline in traditional values is the shift of values among characters on popular television shows during the past 50 years, from  "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Lucy Show" to "American Idol" and "Hannah Montana."

The authors say the newest television shows, which often tend to promote celebrity lifestyles, target a younger, more impressionable set of viewers. With the increase in exposure made possible through the Internet with YouTube, Facebook and other sites, tweens feel they can be famous while accessing a virtual audience of friends and strangers.

Clinical psychologist Joanna Lipari says television shows from every decade have always idealized the life they portray and tweens across the millennia have shared the idea of wanting to be famous.   "Social media has now provided kids a way to take a stab at fame,” she says.

According to a 2010 study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids 8 to 10 years old spend close to eight hours a day using the media. Tweens' lives are saturated with onscreen content. The minute they turn off their television sets, they go on to a multitude of online communities, from video game sites to fan clubs, surrounding their favorite stars, say Greenfield and Uhls.

“There is no doubt we are living in the cult of celebrity,” says Lipari.  The idea, she says, is “that being famous is a ticket to a better life.”   Tweens are at a point where they have no money and no power, and are simply trying to develop their identity, Lipari explains. To them, watching stars live in the limelight, looks ideal.

Lipari says there is nothing wrong with children having big dreams of being rich and famous; they just need guidance to understand there is a process that includes hard work in order to get there.

Parents should talk with their children about the television shows they watch, Greenfield and  Uhls advise. "But it's impossible for most parents to consume the amount of media their children consume," Uhls adds.

“Friends, family and community need to know how to shape these children, as opposed to shaking their heads and saying we’ve lost a generation,”says Lipari.

soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. someoneelse

    Kids have always wanted to be famous, nothing new there. It's why though. People used to want the fame. Now they just don't want to do work.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • graciegal

      Good call~

      August 5, 2011 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • David

      Did you read the article even? From 15th to 1st is not a consistency, it's a new trend.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Yep, – and the dumbing down of America continues . . .

      August 5, 2011 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
    • Heidi

      What do you expect when you take out the arts and anything that involves creative and innovative thinking. I am sick of this country not considering the effects of their decisions.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      Kids figure it out soon enough once ya kick em out of the house. They either get their minds right or they come crawling back to mom and dad for their old bedroom.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:22 | Report abuse |
    • Aljorie

      SO TRUE!

      August 5, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • Midwest Mom

      Part of the problem is the continued breakdown of the family unit. Most kids now days only have one parent. The parent has a hard time getting things done, working all day, and then is often too tired to get involved in their children's lives. Several parents I know let their 13- and 14- year old girls run the neighborhood, and the mothers don't even care! Then the parent tends to blame the schools for their children's failures. It is time to accept full responsibility for raising your own children and stop blaming the schools, the law, and others.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
    • Neeneko

      @David – actually, the article about the research was.... misleading. All the research was done present day... there was no 1997 study to compare against. The research involved asking adults what they thought of TV shows from various decades. No tweens were involved AT ALL in this study... just non-tweens saying what lessons various shows might teach tweens.

      This is some of the worst, most misleading reporting I have seen in a long time. Just... wow.

      August 5, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      When I was a kid, we wanted to be superheroes – people who help others. Now all society teaches kids is to help themselves – get rich, get famous, get beautiful. Listen to Disney Radio...ch-ching with money in the bank, you should be with me...that's a typical line.

      August 5, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Agreed Neeneko, I filed a complaint with CNN and notified the researcher, this is certainly not what her research stated.

      August 5, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
  2. David Cassidy

    in the 70s we all wanted to be rock stars... what's the difference? I think they do it to form their style and image more than the real path towards fame.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • graciegal

      But that's the point (haha, David, I bet you did want to be a rock star, too bad it never happened 😉 - it wasnt that we ALL wanted to... now it is at least for this small subsection of those surveyed.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • mark

      I wanted to be a doctor....which never happened

      August 5, 2011 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
    • JB

      today I don't think its so much a case that kids WANT to be famous, it's that they actually believe they WILL be.
      I also believe that the overall number of children valuing fame has increased dramatically.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
    • Ant

      But in order to be a rock star you actually have to have talent such as playing an instrument which sometimes takes years of practice. Being famous is completely different. Big difference between putting in hard work and just looking pretty like miley cyrus.

      August 5, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
  3. Uncle Sam

    And yet we're still #1 so what does that say about your pathetic pit of a country?

    August 5, 2011 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      The USA is #1 in debt, but nothing else. Where do people like you come up with crap like "we're number 1!" The US is lagging in everything. We may have BEEN #1, but the Cold War is over and Bush squandered what momentum we had coming out of it. "We're number 8, we're number 8!"

      August 5, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      #1 at what, exactly? Teen pregnancy? Prescription drug abuse? Handgun deaths? Because you can't possibly think we're number one in math, science, financial security, or life expectancy.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
  4. Daisy

    I think a lot of you are missing the point. Of course, we dreamed about being famous when we were younger. The alarming thing about this study is that it shows that it is THE most important thing in life for these kids. It's the thing they value above everything else. Just 14 years ago, fame ranked #15 among kids in the same age group. That's a drastic and worrying change.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      If you're worried about it, monitor your child's TV time. Get them reading early or get them interested in something to keep them away from the TV. Try talking to them.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • Neeneko

      The study does not show this AT ALL.

      August 5, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
  5. Grammar

    I hope English is your second language

    August 5, 2011 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Questioner

      And to whom were you responding?

      August 23, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
  6. PO'd American

    Lazy?? Why don't you go take one of your 6-week vacations! I, like many Americans are fighting to secure maybe a week of time off.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. @Uncle Sam

    We're still number 1? lol k.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Nigel Tufnel

    Well, I suppose I could, uh, work in a shop of some kind, or... or do, uh, freelance, uh, selling of some sort of, uh, product. You know...

    August 5, 2011 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. David L

    @Uncle Sam, in what world are we #1? Do you mean where were in the top TWENTY for education in science and math? Where countries like India, China, even Sweden & Greenland beat us? Or do you mean where were #3 in the world in debt? Or how about being #9 in Standard of Living? Maybe where were #24 in vacation & relaxation time? Not even in the Top 10 for life expectancy? It is idiotic statements from people like you that keep us blind. We need to change before we can never return to what this country truly deserves.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      Right on David! It's amazing how people just think America is #1, but don't realized we've slipped SO far behind and now it's like we are the football team who won the championship in the '80s but keep boasting about how we're the best. It's kind of embarrassing, actually. We have terrible education, terrible healthcare system, terrible job prospects...no wonder these poor tweens dream of being famous for no reason - they don't see much else happening, in a country where more people vote for American Idol than in real elections. I blame us all.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • Dano

      Sweden I believe. But I highly doubt that the few students in Greenland (which is under the kingdom of Denmark) are administered the same tests as students in more developed countries.

      August 5, 2011 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
  10. MightyMoo

    For some reason I'm reminded of balloon boy after reading this article.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • joe the plumber

      I think that was more a case of baloon dad – he was the one with the big dreams.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
  11. Ari

    Everybody who posted here is a total jerk.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KK Denver

      Hey! I resemble that remark!

      August 5, 2011 at 11:53 | Report abuse |
    • mystic7

      Good thing I chose not to comment, then. That's a label that's almost impossible to shake.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
  12. Liz

    Y'know, The Lucy Show is a crap example in this case. Lucy was obsessed with being in Ricky's show and being famous.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A


      August 5, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • mystic7

      And her infatuation with Charles Boyer preceded Beatlemania by 10 years.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
  13. stta

    Another nice feature is how people now try to acquire fame. It used to be for something positive like demonstrating work and talent. Now there is no sense of embarrassment. People are idolizing gang culture. It is good to be bad. Being stupid is a path to fame. I myself have no desire to be famous especially for the reasons many are today. I will just stay behind the scenes and enjoy the privacy I have which nobody else seems to want.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. TonyInNYC

    I think those tweens are way underestimating how hard it actually is to become the next Snookie.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. conoclast

    If the kids are at all aware of their surroundings and are looking toward the same "future" that we adults view with such fear, is it surprising that their ambitions seem a little skewed?

    August 5, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Wes

    Kids these days are idiots. Look at their taste in music (Justin Bieber, Hannah Montana, Lady Gaga, etc) you mean to tell me that's better than what we had in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s? I guess the parents are to blame for letting their little heads fill with garbage. I'm glad my generation was the last great generation in this country, when America was still on top.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dillardism

      Your generation must not be so wonderful if it's offsprings turned out so "terrible"

      August 5, 2011 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
    • Kait

      You can't blame the kids, man. They are merely a product of their environment. We were all idiots as kids. It was our parents' jobs to teach us about reality. So when you say that yours was the last "great generation", consider that these are the offspring of your "great generation". Schwoops.

      For the record, I just asked my daughters (ages 3 and 5) what they want more than anything in the world. My 3-year-old said "love" (her sister said "shoes", but hey, she's a work in progress). They don't watch tv... they have no concept of this abstract concept we call fame.

      August 5, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • Kirby

      Ah that made me smile Kait. If you think about it though, everyone wants love deep down and fame is seen as a type of love, though it's an entirely superficial form. These kids want everyone to know and love them through being famous, which will never happen.

      I agree kids are idiots, but they speak raw truth (out of the mouths of babes.) They want love, they have just been taught to look for it in all the wrong places.

      August 6, 2011 at 06:32 | Report abuse |
    • Po

      Hey! Lady Gaga is a good singer! but i agree with the other two.

      August 21, 2011 at 08:58 | Report abuse |
  17. Mysterious Unemployed Guy

    @Uncle Sam: We're still number 1? Gimme a break. We have upwards of 16% REAL unemployment, corporations are laying people off, jobs are being exported to india, china, mexico, etc. because labor is so cheap which screws Citizens of the USA. Not everyone who is unemployed wants to be, not everyone unemployed is lazy. Problem being we shouldn't HAVE to work 2 minimum wage jobs spanning 7 days a week to barely make ends meet. I am recently unemployed, have had 3 hits on over 100 resume's sent out (which isn't bad, considering it has been less than 3 weeks), have 15 years experience in my field and quite honestly, because of the money I was able to make at a previous position, even 2 full-time minimum wage jobs plus having my wife work, wouldn't cut it.

    The American Dream is dead. The United States is a country in need of real change, and not the bull**** change that Obummer brought us. Positive change, bring jobs back to this country, real jobs that will allow mom's to stay home with their children and allow families to prosper on a single income instead of just barely getting by on 2 incomes.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Mysterious Unemployed Guy

    You know why tweens main goal is to be famous? Because they see the famous (rich) living it up and having fun while their parents have to slave away every day just to barely get by. More power to them for wanting to be famous. I hope I'm the only not famous guy left when my child hits her tween/teen years

    August 5, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Wes

    Back in the old days there were struggles and people sang about things that mattered, and you had to be good to be famous. Music and television were awesome. Nowadays you can be famous for being a freaking idiot.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. MATtHEW

    Here's a question for everyone. What was the ranking for fame in years other than 1997? 1997 was probably a low point and that is why they chose it for the comparison. a chart or graph would be a much clearer way of conveying information, as opposed to people sitting around reading an article with incomplete information and moaning about how the "kids these days"

    August 5, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. big b

    Yea. Values mean nothing anymore. So what else is new.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. PGJack

    Fortunately there are still some American families and those of recent immigrants who value opportunity and will seize it with education, talent and hard work. But, sadly, most Americans will settle themselves in front of the television today, shake their heads at the follies of the government they continue to elect through bumper sticker campaigns and then turn to the latest showcase of shameless idiots.

    Honest folks, this wonderful country provided by our grandparents will always be here. No need to invest in its continued growth, no need for a sense of community and certainly no need sit down and work through those math problems with your kids. And politics, just another game show. What, me worry?

    August 5, 2011 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. John Doe Smith

    They want love. In this society, a select few get a disproportionate amount, some get enough, and a lot of folks are starving for it. They think when you're famous, everybody loves you.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Elysia

    Does any child just want to do well in school anymore? Or have a good set of friends? I'm tired of seeing even my own younger siblings glued to the TV or their video games. Don't kids go out and play anymore?

    August 5, 2011 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      If you are tired of seeing them play videos, kick them out outside!! You'd be surprised what kids would do by themselves with a little imagination.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
    • Elvige

      anonymous hope you realize that in terms of the Australian child pooprgranhy laws it doesn't matter if the images are of actual children or not, only if they depict children. There was a case reported in the paper a few days ago of someone who was convicted of child pooprgranhy who possessed only cartoon/animation type images.

      November 16, 2012 at 03:14 | Report abuse |
  25. Badonkadonk!


    August 5, 2011 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. the_dude

    Something tells me that before the rise of the baby boomer (do whatever I want) generation kids were not like this. Each generation since gets more and more lazy and unrealistic. And now no one can even discipline their own kids without the police and child services getting involved. The babu boomer generation was the start of the American decline. Thanks hippies and deadbeats. Huury up and die off so we can get about fixing your screw-ups.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cp125

      It's the ignorant like you that should have never been born.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
    • Sugartaste81

      You're not worthy of the name "the dude".

      August 5, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
  27. corbu

    The American Century is over. Two-or three?- generations of post-war (WWII) crass materialism and focus on the pursuit of wealth as a higher value have left our culture unable to maintain a now- lost "#!" place in the World. Our k-12 education system has focused on building a legion of egotistical, nihilistic idiot-savants (who seek to quell their collective insecurity with unearned self-aggrandizement and hubris in the form of FAME) while our higher education system (reaching less than 50% of our citizens) focuses on the ability to make money and careerism rather than intellectual pursuit and the generation of knowledge (THE 21st century commodity.....that we are squandering with the a value system of hubris and materialism).
    The most visible culprits are THREE in IMHO: THE MEDIA that have transformed reporting into entertainment and create a continual bombardment of spurious values and lowered expectations to our citizenry; THE EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT long dominated by a hippie-era value system that has placed the goal of FAIRNESS above EXCELLENCE; and the PARENTS: A self-indulgent generation of hyper-materialistic semi-literates that indulge their children and coddle them to the point where today's 20-somethings have literally extended their adolescence by more than 10 years: delayed adulthood has become the norm. We have become a culture dominated by an adolescent mind-set, and that is going to hold us back for decades to come.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa in Florida

      Wow. Very well said. These are exactly all that's wrong with our country today. Wish I could have outlined this as well.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
  28. jesor

    The big takeaway from all of this is "unplug your kids and spend some time with them". The Television, DS, Xbox, etc. are not babysitters. Invite them into the kitchen while you're making dinner (learn to make dinner if you don't know already), involve your children in things like doing laundry....they'll actually learn to like it. Make games out of picking up their room, and suddenly you'll have a kid that doesn't hate you when they're a teenager, develops respect for themselves, and is much more resilient in the face of adversity. Not to mention the fact that they'll smell better and you'll be able to walk through their apartment when they're in college and not trip over a pile of dirty laundry.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Po

      I agree with you. Kids should stay away from the tv long enough to learn how to do something so their parents wont do it for them.
      But I also have to say the same for the parents, almost every job there is today involes a tv or computer. i know for instense that my own dad is still addicted to playing a stinking computer game when he spend his days at work on the computer! Its madness!

      Bottom line kids should stay away from electronics but so should grown ups(at least after work) because they can end up like the same way kids are today.

      August 21, 2011 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
  29. ralph

    This world is going to heIl in a handbasket....end of days are certainly approaching. Atheists rejoice at the lack of values bc to them that is society "progessing"

    August 5, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Ella

    So kids want to be famous? Nooooooo! I really didn't expect that.

    Honestly, they'll get over it. I think most people go through a phase of thinking they will be famous.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Alex in NJ

    These kids probably want to become famous since it's gonna be the only shot a kid has soon to make any money considering today's senior citizens and baby boomers have utterly destroyed this country economically for decades to come. So before all the old curmudgeons start with their, "kids today," crap how about you all try and fix this country for your children and grandchildren.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. ralph

    This world is going to heIl in a handbasket...end of days are certainly approaching. Atheists rejoice at the lack of values bc to them that is society "progessing"

    August 5, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maya

      That's one of the most ignorant, solipsistic statements I've ever heard. Just because a person doesn't share your values, that doesn't mean they don't have values.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
  33. Andrea M

    Yeah, and I dreamed of being famous when I was 11 too. Actually, I dreamed of being famous a long time before that, I wanted to be a fashion designer. Hell, I still want to do that, but I satisfy myself with creating my designs on a smaller scale and just enjoying the creativity of the process. Now all we need to do with these kids is have them want to be famous doctors, scientists, inventors, etc. What good is Hannah Montana doing for the planet compared to say, Watson and Crick.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa in Florida

      Well put.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  34. dd

    I don't think we should just "shake our heads and say we’ve lost a generation." I think we should shake our heads and say we've lost about the next 6 generations. Were raising kids to be cast members on Jersey Shore. Imagine what they will raise their kids to be like. Were going to need a 1930's style depression to have any hope of turning this around. Removing the excesses of this economy will change the character of future generations – and we better hope for it since it is the only chance that there will be any future generations.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. ralph

    parents fault and their materialistic values

    August 5, 2011 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Lisa in Florida

    I don't think it's just the tweens these days that value fame over everything else. They're just the only ones honest enough to admit it. As a country, at least during my lifetime (I'm over 30), I think we perpetuate the cult of fame in everything we do and read. We are the ones that encourage the stupid reality shows because we watch them. (Remember the reality show is just over 10 years old give or take.) We must be interested in Brangelina because it's on the cover of US/People almost every week for YEARS. And not for what Brad and Angelina do but just for having kids and being in personal drama mode.

    If anyone's to blame it's the adults in this country (parents or not) for promoting fame as super important, not in what they say but in what they do. We let these kids have facebook pages and twitter accounts and then wonder why they get wrapped up in how many friends and followers they have? We tell ourselves that everyone now needs a "personal brand" and can blog their way to notoriety (maybe not world wide fame but fame on a smaller scale). We now believe that everyone should tell the world how they feel about anything at anytime. Kids pick up on that. if you are a blogger don't you feel good when people comment on your stuff or tweet it or ping you back? It can be addicting.

    The truth is we have set ourselves up for a very shallow world where we pat ourselves on the back for how many connections we have, not for how good they are, a world where we encourage multi-tasking without deep thought, a world where there's an app for everything and if you turn off that smart phone, you will miss something, a world that idolizes brilliant people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg but never does the same (at least on the same scale) for those solving real world problems with ingenious ideas.

    It's the world we created. Now we have to live in it.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jodster

      The best post so far.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Very good post, but I disagree that it's the parents' fault. It's a bigger problem than that, and one of which good parents have lamented for at least a few generations to no avail.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
  37. Jason

    Couldn't this be though of as a good thing? Jonas Saulk was famous, Albert Einstein was famous, Ayn Rand was famous, Dwight Eisenhower was famous? Are kids finally learning that this isn't about who makes the most money, it's about doing something that they will be remembered for. Maybe I'm being overly optamistic but who knows?

    August 5, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Jason, those people were brilliant first, then famous. Today, fame doesn't seem to be associated with anything except chance. Brilliance certainly isn't a prerequisite. Neither are skill, talent, honor, heroics, hard work, altruism, or even wealth.

      August 5, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
  38. Dr. Stoner

    This is the weirdest string of comments I've ever read!

    August 5, 2011 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. cp125

    How sad for the U.S. and what a dismal report card for parents. But this is to be expected when you give up your parental responsibilities in favor of permissivness, overindulgence and a general lack of education. What will become of these shallow children when they grow up should scare everyone.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. princemwh

    We need to be bashing parents not kids. Parents need to be honest with their kids these days and stop worrying about hurting their feelings. I thought I was going to be a pro athlete until my parents just told me I sucked and should focus on something else. I see too many kids with misguided expectations because mom and/or dad aren't willing to sit them down and be honest.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Tyler

    At least physical fitness is high on the list.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Chris

    The powers that actually run this society WANT all children to want - no, EXPECT - fame. It's the only way to get them to buy into this crock of a culture they're peddling. How else would children avoid being terrified by the oppressive conditions in which most adults toil, if not for their delusions of being "special" and somehow being able to miraculously avoid it all by rising straight to the top of the dung heap?

    Fame is a gilded cage at best.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Norman

    I have never understood the desire to be famous. It simply makes no sense to me, never has. Even in my wildest dreams of accomplishing great things fame was never more than a frustrating byproduct of accomplishment.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Delilah

    "I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
    frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond
    words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and
    respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise
    [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint" (Hesiod, 8th century BC).

    Society has been complaining about its youth for centuries. This is nothing new.

    August 5, 2011 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Kevin

    Personally I think that self awareness and learning to be a good person should be the primary goal for each person. As we attain this goal, fame just may be part of the benifits but if not then being recognized for your good thaughts, feelings and actions will fufill the need for recognition. Easy for me to say, but this atarts in early family experiences, so nip int in the bud , so to speak !

    August 5, 2011 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Victor

    It is a shame that so many kids have had their expectations elevated to such heights...not only will most of them never achieve "fame" in the process of dreaming they will lose out on the genuine joy of doing a job well and learning all the lessons which go with that. Oh well...as we used to say "sucks to be them."

    August 5, 2011 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Jones

    Well in nigeria, tweens are concentrated on how to get rich fast. We may not be #1 but we're the best.

    August 5, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. T. J

    Decay in moral values is not only an american thing but a world wide phenomenon. The scene of the WORLD has changed. The solution is divine. You may or maynot agree.

    August 5, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. camercad

    Did anyone actually look at the study methodology? The results are based on adults determining the "value" content of tween tv shoes. No actual tweens were asked what their values were. Was the idea of "TV as escapism" ever considered?

    August 5, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Neeneko

      That was what caught my eye too. The summary of this research is completely wrong.
      I mean... REALLY wrong. CNN, this is an issue.... you are getting people outraged over research that does not exist, much less the implied multiple studies comparing tweens at different times.

      August 5, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
  50. Theo David

    In Africa, (Nigeria to be precise), most teens are concerned more about getting rich than being famous. The reason is not hard to explain. Poverty has caused most of these teens untold hardship, and thus they are willing to do anything to get out of it. Riches and fame go hand in hand though. If u're famous, then u,ll be rich.

    August 5, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dalton

      What a pleasure to find seomone who identifies the issues so clearly

      November 16, 2012 at 00:59 | Report abuse |
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