Friends, family and teachers are much more likely to influence young children than celebrity role models like actors or footballers are, a study suggests.
A survey of 178 men working in primary schools or nurseries indicated children aged eight or below were unable even to grasp the concept of a role model.
University of Derby senior education lecturer Simon Brownhill said they were busy “finding their feet in the world”.
The researcher also found no evidence men made better role models for boys.
They could often provide a poor example, he said, such as footballers swearing or fouling.