Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Communication Studies

Abstract

Purpose - Materialism among the younger generation has become a hot topic among parents, educators, marketers and policy makers, especially in Macao, a city that the influx of tourists and the expanding gaming facilities bring the potential threat of materialism and the erosion of traditional family values. This study aims at developing a model using age, sex, social comparison of consumption with friends, attention to advertising, and self-esteem to predict young people’s materialistic values.

Design/methodology/approach - A probability sampling of 667 elementary and secondary school students aged 8 to 17 in Macao was conducted. Findings - Results show that social comparison of consumption with friends was the most important factor in predicting respondents’ endorsement of materialistic values, followed by self-esteem. Research implications - Parents and educators should be aware of young people’s engagement in social comparison of consumption. They shall discourage children and adolescents to compare possessions with friends. Regulating young consumers’ exposure to advertising would not be successful in discouraging materialism.

Original/value - This is the first study that examines materialistic values of both children and adolescents using the same scale and survey methodology in Chinese society. Also, this is the first study reported on materialism in Macao.

Limitations - All the constructs are measured by self-reporting. Some respondents may give socially desirable answers.

Publication Year

2013

Journal Title

Young Consumers

Volume number

14

Issue number

3

Publisher

Emerald

First Page (page number)

244

Last Page (page number)

257

Referreed

1

DOI

10.1108/YC-01-2013-00339

ISSN (print)

17473616

Link to Publisher’s Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/YC-01-2013-00339

Keywords

Materialism, Social Comparison, Consumer Psychology, Macao, Survey

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