ERIC Number: ED370707
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Content Analysis of Children's Letters to Santa: Toy and Non-Toy Requests.
Marcon, Rebecca A.; And Others
This study examined the letters that 438 children aged 2 through 12 wrote to "Santa Claus" in care of a local newspaper in 1992. The letters were scored for: (1) number of toys requested; (2) non-toy requests; (3) specific requests for others; (4) intangible requests (i.e., world peace); (5) total toy price; and (6) number of toys costing $100 or more. Based upon a progression in children's belief in Santa Claus, three age-related groupings were identified as believers (6 and under), transitional (7 to 8), and nonbelievers (9 and over). Toys were classified as masculine, feminine, or neuter; as solitary, interactive, or both; and as faddish (based on a current television or movie character) or non-fad items. Results indicated that girls were more likely than boys to request clothing or functional items. Nonbelievers were less likely to request tangible items than believers. Both girls and boys requested sex-appropriate toys and neutral toys in equal proportions. Based upon the results of previous research, boys have increased their preference for neutral toys, with neutral toys now as popular as sex-typed toys among both sexes. (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Childrens Writing; Santa Claus
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (New Orleans, LA, March 30-April 2, 1994).