Tween Consumers: Catalog Clothing Purchase Behavior

By Simpson, Linda; Douglas, Sara et al. | Adolescence, Fall 1998 | Go to article overview

Tween Consumers: Catalog Clothing Purchase Behavior


Simpson, Linda, Douglas, Sara, Schimmel, Julie, Adolescence


ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to compare the catalog shopping behavior of students in their tween years (i.e., between childhood and adolescence; ages 12-14) with that of older students (ages 15-18). Junior high and high school students who had purchased clothing from a catalog in the past 12 months responded to a questionnaire that examined the label information sought and product-specific attributes considered. Results indicated that tweens were more concerned with style, brand names, and the latest fashion than were older students. This finding was especially interesting, as these attributes all relate to status; the tweens were more interested than the older students in wearing the latest fashions, being in style, and gaining the prestige of wearing brand-name clothing. This supports previous findings indicating that the tween years are a time when peer pressure and "fitting in" are very important.

Children, preadolescents, and teens are the fastest growing market sectors in the United States. According to Teen Research Unlimited (1991), adolescents in the United States spent $82 billion on goods and services in 1991. The children's market for consumer goods increased by 20% from 1988 to 1995, and the preteen, or tween, market is considered extremely significant in itself (Federal Trade Commission, Office of Public Affairs, 1995). The term tween is used to describe preadolescents, ages 12-14, who are in a somewhat awkward, transitional stage of life-they have left childhood but have not actually become teenagers. Described by Cuneo (1989) as too old for Ronald McDonald and to young for car keys, tweens are reported to have more discretionary purchasing power than younger children or older adolescents, to shop at least three times a week, and to save 30% of their spending money for higher ticket items (McLaughlin, 1991). Cuneo (1989) reported that tweens buy or influence the purchase of $45 billion wort h of goods a year. Thus, tweens are being targeted heavily by marketers, who recognize the cash clout and influence on family purchases of this consumer group.

The shift in family dynamics in the 1990s also plays an important role in marketing strategy. Many school-age children live in households where both parents work. Additionally, in 1994, one in four households with children was headed by a single parent, up from one in eight in 1970 (Miller, 1994). More dual-income families and nontraditional households has led to greater responsibility being placed upon tweens and teens, giving them greater purchasing power and more independence (Cuneo, 1989; McLaughlin, 1991; Miller, 1994; Rickard, 1994). Parents simply do not have as much time for shopping, so this duty frequently is passed to their children. For example, about one-third of tweens do the family grocery shopping on a weekly basis (McLaughlin, 1991).

Not only do many marketers realize the spending power of tween consumers, they also capitalize on the knowledge that the junior high school years are a time of vulnerability to peer pressure and conformity. Studies have found that wearing certain types of clothing, especially brand-name apparel, is a way of "fitting in" for both tweens and teenagers (Daters, 1990; Forney & Forney, 1995; Frances, 1992; Kelly & Eicher, 1970; Miller, 1994; Rickard, 1994; Rosenberg, 1989; Smucker & Creekmore, 1972; Storm, 1987; Whalen, 1994). According to Kidtrends Report, "kids aged 6-14 care a lot about the brands and styles of clothes they wear" (Guber & Berry, 1993, p. 3). In comparison to breakfast cereals, soft drinks, and videotapes, more kids are concerned with brand-name clothing (Guber & Berry, 1993). Research suggests that tweens place even more emphasis on brand names than do older adolescents (Cuneo, 1989; Fitzgerald, 1992; Koester & May, 1985; McLaughlin, 1991; Simpson, 1994).

Conformity has been associated with the need for acceptance, approval, and harmonious relationships with others (Batra, Kahle, Rose, & Shoham, 1994). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tween Consumers: Catalog Clothing Purchase Behavior
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.