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Chinese and Indian mothers worry more

News, 03 June 2016

GLOBAL: Chinese and Indian mothers are more likely than those in other markets to compare their child's development to others and to spend more on products for them, a new study has revealed.

The Global Motherhood Survey was conducted across six markets – Australia, China, Colombia, India, UK and the US, with around 600 respondents in each who were either pregnant or had a child under the age of two – by Frank About Women, a think tank founded by MullenLowe.

This found that the habit of comparing one's own child to others was a common trait around the world, with three quarters of mothers doing so. But that figure rose to 90% in China.

And Indian mothers weren't just comparing: "they are also the most anxious and obsessed in this regard compared to the other countries," the study noted.

Indian mothers were also less likely to think about themselves, being 36 times more likely than Australian mums, for example, to agree that "the child always comes first". And fathers aren't pulling their weight – eight in ten Indian mothers wanted more help from their husbands.

The report suggested there were opportunities for brands to teach mothers generally of the value of looking after themselves and not feeling guilty about it.

The cliché of the Asian Tiger Mom appears well-founded, as the survey highlighted the desire of Chinese and Indian mothers that their children reach development milestones ahead of schedule: they were 95% more likely than the global average to encourage children in this regard.

And while globally 82% of mums were happy for their children to learn at their own pace, that fell to 49% for mothers in China and India.

They were also significantly more likely to be spending more on educational products for their children. Six in ten mothers around the world felt it was worth paying more for such items, but that rose to 80% in China and 77% in India.

Other areas where they typically spent more included toys, personal care products, child furniture and clothing.

Data sourced from Campaign India, Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff