This study examined parents’ understanding of and experience with child-targeted advergames through exploratory interviews and quantitative pretests of an advergaming definition. Exploratory findings revealed that parents tended to overgeneralize when identifying advergames. Through the use of an online survey, this study also examined how parental socialization styles affect parents’ attitudes toward advergames. As predicted, results indicate that authoritarian and authoritative parents hold more negative perceptions toward advergames compared to indulgent parents, while all parenting styles exhibited negative leanings toward advergaming as a practice. These findings indicate the efficacy of parental socialization theory in explaining parents’ perceptions and attitudes toward this new form of advertising—advergames. We discuss important implications for regulators, practitioners, and parents.
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