Purpose – The aim of this study is to assess and compare consumer skills of institutionalized children with those of family children. This paper also seeks to understand which skills might be more easily improved amongst institutionalized children with a single intervention of classroom instruction. Design/methodology/approach – This paper conducted a pilot study with a sample composed of two subgroups (38 institutionalized children and 36 non-institutionalized children). To assess children’s knowledge, a questionnaire and an interview were used. The class intervention lasted 30 minutes. Findings – Results suggest that institutionalized children have lower levels of knowledge regarding consumption-related practices and lower levels of accuracy at estimating prices than non-institutionalized children. Results also showed that, in other skills, there are no differences between institutionalized or family children, as in attitude toward advertising or in making decisions based on price/quantity evaluations or based on the use of the same strategy in different situations. Regarding the class intervention, it was concluded that it could improve the attitude toward advertising of only the institutionalized children. Originality/value – There is much research today focused on children’s ability to act as educated consumers. This research is focused mainly on children who live with their parents, but it is also important to take into consideration children who do not live in a typical family environment, the institutionalized children, because they will also become consumers. Research on institutionalized children is focused on evaluating their development and well-being and does not assess consumer competencies and skills.
- Consumer behaviour
- Consumer psychology
- Educational programs
- Parent child communication
- Residential care institutions