Bing Shi (email@example.com) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Sun Yat-sen University, China.
Peer Group Influence on Urban Preadolescents' Attitudes Toward Material Possessions: Social Status Benefits of Material Possessions
Article first published online: 30 NOV 2012
Copyright 2012 by The American Council on Consumer Interests
Journal of Consumer Affairs
Volume 47, Issue 1, pages 46–71, Spring 2013
How to Cite
SHI, B. and XIE, H. (2013), Peer Group Influence on Urban Preadolescents' Attitudes Toward Material Possessions: Social Status Benefits of Material Possessions. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 47: 46–71. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6606.2012.01246.x
This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF 0339070) and William T. Grant Foundation (Grant ID 6934) to Hongling Xie. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the granting agencies. We thank the students who participated in our study and the schools that assisted our study in various ways. We appreciate the assistance by Pinky Patel, Ashley Dugan, Ngalula Fleurant, Marisa Gauger, Sara Heverly-Fitt, Phylicia Joseph and Olivia Taduran in data collection and processing. In particular, we appreciate the constructive comments from the two anonymous reviewers on earlier drafts of this article.
- Issue published online: 18 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 30 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 18 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 22 AUG 2011
- National Science Foundation. Grant Number: 0339070
- William T. Grant Foundation. Grant Number: 6934
This study explores peer influence on urban preadolescents' perceptions of social status benefits of material possessions. A longitudinal design is used. Natural, interaction-based peer groups are identified through the Social Cognitive Map procedure. Findings indicate that high-status rather than low-status peers in a group are influential on individuals. Strong influence of high-status peers is observed in both boys' and girls' groups. High-status peers are particularly influential on low-status individuals in girls' groups and on high-status individuals in boys' groups. Additionally, high-status peers' influence is stronger on African Americans than on Hispanic Americans and tends to be stronger on Hispanic Americans than on White Americans. These findings imply that special attention should be given to high-status youth in groups who highly endorse social benefits of material possessions. Characteristics of the target youth (e.g., gender, ethnicity and individual status) should be considered in future efforts for reducing the pervasiveness of materialism.