Parents of children (age 2–12) participated in this study examining the influence of children’s television exposure on parent-reported child-initiated purchase requests and coercive behaviors and their subsequent effect on overall parental stress, a factor associated with reduced well-being. Using a general family systems framework, and Family Communication Patterns (FCP), we also examined how these consumer oriented communication patterns could help or harm family interactions and ultimately, parent stress. Results indicated that increased child television exposure was associated with increased child-purchase initiations and consumer related coercive behavior. Additionally, child coercive behavior and child purchase initiation was then associated with increased parental stress, which has a well-documented impact on both physical and emotional parent well-being. Lastly, increased collaborative communication had an exacerbating direct effect on parent stress; whereas, parents who engaged in more control oriented and advertising communication had children who were more likely to ask for more products and exhibit more coercive behaviors. Finally, the link between television exposure and coercive behavior was weaker in homes where parents engaged in more advertising focused communication. Thus, advertising can directly and indirectly influence parent stress; however, effects can be mitigated through constructive parental communication with children.
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