For girls who are fans of “teen idols,” such as Josh Hartnett or *NSYNC star Justin Timberlake, there’s both good news and bad news, according to a study conducted at Knox College and published in the March 2005 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Research. The good news is that girls who idolize celebrities are not wallflowers suffering from low self-esteem. The bad news is that celebrity worship is also not a “harmless hobby,” because it emphasizes spending and de-emphasizes healthy activities, said Tim Kasser, associate professor of psychology at Knox, co-author of the study. “It’s a means of socializing young girls into a consumer role.”
The full story at knox.edu has since been removed.