Academic journal article Competition Forum

Communication Patterns, Mediation Behaviors, and Advertising Attitudes: A Study of Hispanic Mothers

Academic journal article Competition Forum

Communication Patterns, Mediation Behaviors, and Advertising Attitudes: A Study of Hispanic Mothers

Article excerpt

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This research tests the cross-cultural applicability of the Family Communications Pattern (FCP) on Hispanic mothers. Most models that attempt to explain consumer behavior have been developed in the United States on Anglo consumers. As the United States gets more diverse and groups such as the Hispanics become the largest minority, there is concern among consumer behavior researchers that these models may not be appropriate or adequate to use on non-Anglo consumers (Durvasula, Lysonski, & Netemeyer, 1993). A survey of Hispanic mothers reveals that the FCP model is fairly robust in both identifying communication patterns and in predicting relationships between communication patterns and advertising attitudes and mediation behaviors. The results also show that Hispanic mothers advertising attitudes are rather positive and this is an important finding for practitioners as they try to both understand and affect attitudes of Hispanic consumers using television advertising.

Key words: Family Communications Pattern, Acculturation, Advertising attitudes, Mediation behaviors

INTRODUCTION

Most models that attempt to explain consumer behavior have been developed in the United States. These models are fairly robust when it comes to researching Anglo consumers. As the United States gets more diverse and groups such as the Hispanics become the largest minority representing 14 percent of the population, there is concern among consumer behavior researchers that these models may not be appropriate or adequate to use on non-Anglo consumers (Durvasula, Lysonski, & Netemeyer, 1993). Researching the Hispanic consumer is becoming of increasing importance, and is an integral part of understanding the multi-cultural consumer. The Census Bureau released estimates in January 2003 showing that the Hispanic population rose 4.7 percent between April 2000 and July 2001, from 35.3 million to 37 million. During the same period, the non-Hispanic black population rose about 2 percent, from 35.5 million to 36.1 million. Hispanics now comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population and are the largest minority. In some states like Texas, Hispanics comprise 32 percent of the population. Persons of Mexican origin comprised 66 percent of the Hispanic population. Hispanic children represented 16.2 percent of the total U.S. children population. Hispanics are more likely to be poor with 22.8 percent living in poverty compared to 7.7 percent of non-white Hispanics (Census, 2000; Therrien, & Ramirez, 2000). The Hispanic community is also the youngest population group in the nation. One of every three Hispanic is under the age of 18, and 44.7 percent is under the age of nine. For non-Hispanic whites, only 27.6 percent of the population is under the age of nine. The census also reports that about 28 million above the age of 5 reported speaking Spanish at home. Among all those who spoke Spanish, slightly more than half also reported speaking fluent English.

This study was conducted in South Texas with an attempt to test the cross-cultural applicability of a Family Communications Pattern (FCP), which has been theorized and tested primarily among Anglo consumers (McLeod & Chaffee, 1972; Moschis, 1987). One theme in cross-cultural consumer research is the generalizability of behavioral models developed with Anglo middle class samples. The concern is that these models may not explain the behavior of other ethnic and cultural groups such as Hispanic and African American. The current study uses consumer socialization as a theoretical framework and examines Hispanic mothers' communications patterns and attitudes toward advertising in general and advertising toward children in specific. Further it investigates mothers' TV mediation behaviors relating to co-viewing, discussion, and control of TV. A child's most valuable learning experience during early childhood occurs in interactions with parents and other persons who teach, explain, reason, help, entertain, praise, share, and expand the child's activities (Laosa, 1982a). …

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