I Suffered Therefore I Buy: Family and Peer Effects on Fashion Consumption among College StudentsFacilities
關鍵詞 Key words : 流行消費;家庭關係;同儕關係;性別效應;寂寞感;fashion consumption;family relationship;peer relationship;gender effect;sense of loneliness
Purpose: For the younger generation, fashion consumption is focused on social and emotional aspects rather than on basic needs. The current study investigates how family and peer interactions during adolescence affect fashion consumption among college students. It further examines whether the associations vary according to gender and whether they are mediated by a sense of loneliness. From the perspective of social interaction, we hypothesize that (1) peer or family traumatic events are associated with greater fashion consumption and the association is mediated by a sense of loneliness, (2) the associations among traumatic events, the sense of loneliness, and fashion consumption is stronger for female college students than for males. Methods: The empirical data used to examine the hypotheses were taken from Taiwan Youth Project (TYP), a longitudinal survey research project conducted by the Institute of Sociology, Academic Sinica. The TYP survey, launched in 2000, applies a multistage stratified-cluster random sampling framework to obtain school-based representative samples. The sampled students were seventh graders when the first-wave survey was administered. Annual follow-up surveys continued until 2009. The data analyzed in this study include reports collected at both high school (waves 1 to 6, from March 2000 to March 2005) and college stage (wave 8, June 2007). The sample size was 1,070. Two-stage multiple regression analysis was employed to investigate gender effects on the association between social relationships and fashion consumption. Two separate multiple regression analyses were then used to further examine whether the association between social relationships and fashion consumption is mediated by a sense of loneliness. Results: There were two major findings. First, both friendship and family traumatic events promote expenditure on fashion consumption as hypothesized, but the effect of family traumatic events was significant only for female and not male students. Secondly, the effect of friendship and family traumatic events on expenditure on fashion consumption is mediated by loneliness. The mediating effect of lonliness, however, was only significant among female but not male students. Specifically, female college students who had ever suffered negative friendships were more likely to have a stronger sense of loneliness and then to make greater expenditures on fashion consumption. Conclusions: The social and emotional influence model proposed by this study seems fitting for females rather than for males. It indicates research on fashion consumption need to pay attention on gender effects.