Raising Young Consumers: Consumer Socialization and Parental Style ACRoss Cultures

Gregory M. Rose, University of Mississippi
Vassilis Dalakas, Berry College
Fredric Kropp, Monterey Institute of International Studies
Rajeev Kamineni, Bond University
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - Previous research in parental style has been conducted primarily in the United States. The most commonly found parental styles are Authoritatives who are warm and restrictive, Authoritarians who are cold and restrictive, and Permissives who are warm and nonrestrictive (Carlson and Grossbart 1988; Rose 1999). Consumer research has established a relationship between consumer socialization and parental style primarily by studying American parents (Carlson and Grossbart 1988) but also, recently, Japanese parents (Rose 1999).
[ to cite ]:
Gregory M. Rose, Vassilis Dalakas, Fredric Kropp, and Rajeev Kamineni (2002) ,"Raising Young Consumers: Consumer Socialization and Parental Style ACRoss Cultures", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 29, eds. Susan M. Broniarczyk and Kent Nakamoto, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 65.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 29, 2002     Page 65

RAISING YOUNG CONSUMERS: CONSUMER SOCIALIZATION AND PARENTAL STYLE ACROSS CULTURES

Gregory M. Rose, University of Mississippi

Vassilis Dalakas, Berry College

Fredric Kropp, Monterey Institute of International Studies

Rajeev Kamineni, Bond University

EXTENDED ABSTRACT -

Previous research in parental style has been conducted primarily in the United States. The most commonly found parental styles are Authoritatives who are warm and restrictive, Authoritarians who are cold and restrictive, and Permissives who are warm and nonrestrictive (Carlson and Grossbart 1988; Rose 1999). Consumer research has established a relationship between consumer socialization and parental style primarily by studying American parents (Carlson and Grossbart 1988) but also, recently, Japanese parents (Rose 1999).

This study examines the influence of parental style on consumer socialization in Australia, Greece, and India. Australia provides an example of a highly individualistic nation, geographically distant but culturally similar to the United States in many ways (Hofstede 1984); both share wide-open spaces and an individualistic tradition. Greece provides a collectivist European nation with a long history and tradition. India provides an Asian collectivist nation with a developing economy and a distinct culture.

Nurturance, strictness, and fostering dependence measure three important aspects of parent-child interactions and serve as indicators of parental style. Consistent with previous research (e.g., Baumrind 1971; Carlson and Grossbart 1988; Rose 1999), parental style was determined empirically through cluster analysis. The first stage employed two hierarchical methods, Ward’s and the average linkage between groups method, to establish the number of clusters. Both hierarchical methods indicated a five-cluster solution. In the second stage, a non-hierarchical (K-Means) cluster analysis wasconducted to establish final cluster membership. Overall, five distinct clusters were found based on three indicators of parental style. Three of the clusters (Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive) matched the most commonly found parental styles of American mothers (Baumrind 1971; Carlson and Grossbart 1988). The other two clusters (labeled Strict Dependent and Indulgent Dependent) were similar to the parental styles of Strict and Indulgent Amae found primarily among Japanese mothers (Rose 1999).

The study examined how parental style influenced two major areas in socialization research: children’s influence and participation in family purchases and parental restrictions of children’s consumption and media exposure (Carlson and Grossbart 1988; Rose 1999). Child’s influence and coshopping examine two important aspects of children’s influence and participation in family purchases, while socio-orientation and control TV viewing examine the extent that parents restrict their children’s consumption and media exposure, respectively (Carlson and Grossbart 1988).

Data were examined in a MANOVA with child’s influence, coshopping, socio-orientation and control TV viewing serving as the dependent variables and parental style serving as the independent variable. Specific hypotheses were subsequently tested with follow-up univariate ANOVAs.

In comparing the results of this study with previous research (Carlson and Grossbart 1988; Rose 1999) the consistency of findings across studies is notable. Thus, a relatively consistent picture is beginning to emerge across studies of the consumer socialization practices of parental groups. All three studies find that: a) Authoritative (warm and restrictive) and Permissive parents (warm and non-restrictive) promote independence in their children, b) Authoritative parents are actively involved in monitoring and controlling their children’s environment, c) Authoritative parents place a high degree of control over their children’s television viewing and media exposure, while Permissives place fewer controls on their children’s media use. All three studies also find that Authoritarian parents place relatively few restrictions on their children’s media exposure. Authoritative and Permissive parents exhibit relatively high levels of child’s influence and coshopping.

Also, the study found that a substantial minority of parents from Greece and India, collectivist nations, exhibited traditionally Western parental styles. Thus, some parents in all nations exhibit a parental style consistent with Baumrind’s (1971) typology. The remaining two parental styles, Strict Dependent and Indulgent Dependent, occurred almost exclusively in the collectivist nations of India and Greece. Although not all parents within a collectivist society can be classified as Strict or Indulgent Dependent, these parental styles are uniquely collectivist and add to our knowledge of general socialization practices across cultures. Both Indulgent Dependent (amae) and Strict Dependent (amae) parents exhibited higher levels of fostering dependence than Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive parents. Thus, collectivist parenting appears to be differentiated primarily by the high level of dependence parents foster in their children, which is consistent with socializing a child to successfully adapt to an interdependent, collectivist society.

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