What Does this Gift Say about Me, You, and Us? The Role of Adolescents’ Gift Giving in Managing their Impressions among their Peers


  • The authors thank the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments. This research was supported by the Mark Schuman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Jerusalem College of Technology.

Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Ruthie Segev, Technology Management and Marketing Department, Jerusalem College of Technology, Jerusalem 91160, Israel (rsegev@g.jct.ac.il).


This study examines adolescents’ gift giving using a qualitative methodology, based on impression management theory. Gift-giving motives and the characteristics of the chosen gifts indicated that adolescents use gift giving instrumentally to manage and protect their impressions among their peers. The study extends the literature on adolescents’ gift giving, and provides evidence regarding different types of gifts such as joint, neutral, and twofold gifts. Additionally, some gifts are aimed at strengthening similarity and bind the extended selves of givers and receivers.