Study: Taylor Swift has more influence over kids than Justin Bieber

Kim Grundy

By Kim Grundy

Parenting | Nov 19, 2012 7:30 AM

A new poll of kids shows that Taylor Swift has more influence over them than Justin Bieber, with One Direction, Selena Gomez and Nicki Minaj trailing closely behind. We polled parents and child specialists to find out how they feel about this and which celebrity they think is the best influence on the youth and how they feel about Swift beating Bieber.

Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift

It seemed like only yesterday that a fresh-faced Justin Bieber mesmerized the world with his famous hair flip while crooning “Baby,” — however flash-forward to today, where the 18-year-old Biebs has seven tattoos, drives a flashy $100,000 Fisker Karma sports car and is often seen with his pants hanging more off than on.

He did, however, bring his mom as his date as he accepted American Music Awards Artist of the Year.

A new study by Ebates.com of 1,121 youth between the ages of 8-12 have said that it is actually no longer Bieber that has the most influence over them, but 22-year-old Taylor Swift.

Check out the entire list of those celebrities who they said have the most influence on them:

It does seem like Bieber is trying to shed his young, innocent image and embrace his new grown-up role, so are parents happy that more kids are influenced by the sweet and innocent country crooner Taylor Swift?

Taylor SwiftThe Taylor Swift influence

Family psychotherapist Dr. Frances Walfish, who is the author of The Self-Aware Parent: Resolving Conflict and Building a Better Bond with Your Child, says she is happy to hear that Swift is the most influential celebrity among young girls. “Taylor is extremely down-to-earth. She is a very real person with good values, ethics, and morals,” she tells SheKnows. “She represents happy, healthy, and full of energy. No ego, no arrogance.

Anna Berry agrees, telling us her daughter received a personal package from Swift after a family friend (who is Swift’s mail carrier in Nashville) told her about her daughter’s experience with being bullied at school for two years.

“Taylor was so kind to put together a package of items for Ashley, along with the personal message to 'Keep your head up, your heart open and you will be blessed.' It meant so much to her and the ironic thing was that Ashley was just about to begin performing Taylor's song ”Mean” at local competitions as her anti-bullying anthem,” Berry said. “That action alone helped put a smile on my daughter's face and give her the confidence to stand up for herself and we will always love Taylor for it.”

"Taylor is extremely down-to-earth. She is a very real person with good values, ethics and morals."

Selena Gomez and Justin BieberHey, Justin Bieber isn’t so bad!

Terry Akins said she thinks that Bieber has been a good role model for youth, citing the fact that he has had a steady girlfriend (Selena Gomez) for over a year — and says he has handled their rumored break-up well.

“Justin Bieber respects himself and his girlfriend and publicly put her as his only girlfriend,” Akins said. “He teaches us that having a solid relationship with one woman that you respect is a good quality and that even in having a public heartbreak, he shows us that there is nothing wrong with showing that human and vulnerable side. He is a good role model for young men.”

She also gives props to Gomez, who ranked 4th on the list. “Selena Gomez shows young women that they can be a professional, with a career and a person that is true to herself. Even though she may be involved with a public figure, she shows others the importance of self-respect and stands up for herself when that very well-known public figure does not do the right thing by her standards. She is an excellent role model for young women.”

One person she is glad didn’t make the list? “Rihanna is a very poor role model. Chris Brown abuses her and treats her like a punching bag and then she goes back to him,” Akins said.

Or maybe celebs aren’t great role models?

 “The problem with young role models is that they start out as good, but then tend to do something bad or, at least, stupid,” said Dr. Carole Lieberman, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist, and bestselling author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets.

“Justin Bieber has now lost his girlfriend, Selena Gomez, because he couldn't resist cheating with a Victoria's Secret model, and just got stopped again by police for his driving. Taylor Swift has cultivated a virginal good girl image, but reports have it that she is lying about having broken up with Conor Kennedy to get his family off their backs. Nicky Minaj has instigated an ugly, knock-down-drag-out, jealous rivalry with Mariah Carey. Jennifer Lawrence hasn't done anything really bad yet (that I know of), but she's about to become a lot more famous... so she may soon be tempted,” Lieberman tells us.

So, what’s a parent to do?

“It's really risky for parents to endorse any role models too strongly because they are likely to mess up. Of course, this gives parents the perfect opportunity to teach kids about how not to make the same mistakes.”

Tell Us

Which celebrity do you think is a good role model for kids?

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