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Relation of Parental Caring to Conspicuous Consumption Attitudes in Adolescents

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  • Clinton Gudmunson

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  • Ivan Beutler

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Abstract

Adolescent conspicuous consumption attitudes are perversely rooted in human relationships and interfere with personal growth and engagement in adult roles. Negative associations between parental caring and conspicuous consumption could be evidence of a compensatory motive to seek for the passing admiration of others when parent–child relationships fail to fulfill basic needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Very little support, however, was found for Veblen’s original hypothesis that conspicuous consumption attitudes are driven by perceived social class distinctions. Yet, immersion in the consumer culture promoted by the media predicted higher levels of conspicuous consumption attitudes which were also more prominent among older adolescents. This small-scale study of 257, predominantly middle-class adolescents, calls attention to the need for more family socialization studies of adolescent money attitudes. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Clinton Gudmunson & Ivan Beutler, 2012. "Relation of Parental Caring to Conspicuous Consumption Attitudes in Adolescents," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 389-399, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jfamec:v:33:y:2012:i:4:p:389-399
    DOI: 10.1007/s10834-012-9282-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Clinton Gudmunson & Sharon Danes, 2011. "Family Financial Socialization: Theory and Critical Review," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 644-667, December.
    2. Belk, Russell W, 1985. "Materialism: Trait Aspects of Living in the Material World," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 265-280, December.
    3. Wilfred Amaldoss & Sanjay Jain, 2005. "Conspicuous Consumption and Sophisticated Thinking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(10), pages 1449-1466, October.
    4. Qingwen Dong & Xiaobing Cao, 2006. "The Impact of American Media Exposure and Self-Esteem on Chinese Urban Adolescent Purchasing Involvement," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 664-674, December.
    5. Robertson, Thomas S & Rossiter, John R, 1974. "Children and Commercial Persuasion: An Attribution Theory Analysis," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 13-20, June.
    6. John, Deborah Roedder, 1999. "Consumer Socialization of Children: A Retrospective Look at Twenty-Five Years of Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 183-213, December.
    7. Michael Gutter & Zeynep Copur, 2011. "Financial Behaviors and Financial Well-Being of College Students: Evidence from a National Survey," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 699-714, December.
    8. Ward, Scott, 1974. "Consumer Socialization," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 1-14, Se.
    9. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-373, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adam Hancock & Bryce Jorgensen & Melvin Swanson, 2013. "College Students and Credit Card Use: The Role of Parents, Work Experience, Financial Knowledge, and Credit Card Attitudes," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 369-381, December.
    2. Bryce L. Jorgensen & Diane Foster & Jakob F. Jensen & Elisabete Vieira, 2017. "Financial Attitudes and Responsible Spending Behavior of Emerging Adults: Does Geographic Location Matter?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 70-83, March.
    3. Gina Chowa & Mathieu Despard, 2014. "The Influence of Parental Financial Socialization on Youth’s Financial Behavior: Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 376-389, September.
    4. Helen Duh & Sarah Benmoyal-Bouzaglo & George Moschis & Lilia Smaoui, 2015. "Examination of Young Adults’ Materialism in France and South Africa Using Two Life-Course Theoretical Perspectives," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 251-262, June.
    5. Sharon Danes & Katherine Brewton, 2014. "The Role of Learning Context in High School Students’ Financial Knowledge and Behavior Acquisition," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 81-94, March.
    6. Zhu, Alex Yue Feng, 2020. "Impact of school financial education on parental saving socialization in Hong Kong adolescents," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 87(C).

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