Determinants for materialism among adolescents in Singapore

Carrie La Ferle, Kara Chan
2008 Young Consumers  
Structured abstract (319 words) Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of marketing communication factors (specifically advertising viewing and responses to marketing promotions) as well as social influence factors (specifically influences from peers and media celebrities) on adolescents' endorsement of materialistic values in Singapore. As the Asian culture is said to be collective when compared with the Western culture, it is expected that social relations, both
more » ... tions, both personal and celebrity-mediated, play an important role in the establishment of consumption values. Design/methodology/approach-A survey of 190 high school students aged 13 to 18 was conducted using a structured questionnaire. Constructs were measured using established scales. Findings-Imitation of media celebrities and perceived peer influence were positive predictors of materialistic consumption values while marketing communication factors were not significant predictors. Research limitations-The data came from a convenience sample of one high school and may not be representative of adolescents in Singapore. Practical implications-Desires to place restrictions on advertising exposure in order to decrease the level of materialistic values among children and adolescents are quite prevalent in many 3 societies. The paper found that in fact advertising regulation may not impact adolescent levels of materialism to the degree previously assumed. Visual literacy courses may be a better strategy of reducing the level of materialism through discouraging the desire to imitate media celebrities. In turn, this training and heightened awareness could potentially help to diminish some of the negative peer influences in relation to materialism. Media educators should help young consumers to reflect on how their purchase decisions can be influenced by their social relations, including both personal interaction and celebrity-media communications, while simultaneously providing them with the tools to critically assess the images they view. Originality/value-The paper offers insights about the complex patterns of how consumption values develop in an Asian society. It is also a pioneer work on the study of the influence of media celebrities on materialistic value orientations. 4
doi:10.1108/17473610810901633 fatcat:or5nramukbcrzjn37ogce6rw3e