The study, based on focus groups and interviews with parents and children, also claims that parents approve of magazines more than other media for their educational and developmental value.
Children And Magazines: The Benefits of Advertising also highlights the importance that both parents and children place on the interactive element of magazines and the way that readers engage with characters and celebrities.
Girls engaged more with animals and gossip and boys preferred entertainment and jokes, but both sexes responded strongly to advertising, often viewing brand-related characters as 'favourite friends'.
Helen Stables, publisher of Egmont's children's titles and chair of the PPA's Children's Group, said: "Whilst too much TV is considered bad, magazines are parents' preferred choice as they are involving and engaging but also stretching and challenging.
Advertisers looking to successfully and cost-effectively target children should take note of this research."
The full report will be made available by the PPA on 20th February.