Clothing purchasing practices: a comparison of fourth and seventh grade children

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This research investigated personal clothing purchasing practices of upper elementary school children in relation to: grade level, sex, race, socioeconomic status, mothers' employment, and types of clothing acquired. One hundred ninety-one fourth and seventh graders from rural Virginia completed a questionnaire in June, 1982. Data were analyzed using the Chi-square test of independence and Cramer's V or Phi tested the strength of the relationships.

Three-fourths of the respondents shopped regularly for clothing and one-half had bought clothing without an older person present. When purchasing clothing independently, one-half of them used their own money. Students were more independent of elders when purchasing less expensive items.

The findings which were statistically significant indicated seventh graders were more independent than fourth graders. More of them had purchased garments without their parents present, paid for them with their own money and liked to shop. They tended to buy clothing with only one parent present and make their own decisions about clothing purchases.

Boys were more independent than girls. More males shopped without their parents and paid for clothing with their own money. Girls tended to shop with more than one person present.

More black respondents shopped for clothing with both parents and others present and were influenced by their friends in their clothing purchases. The largest proportion of the white students bought clothing with one parent only and more of them paid for clothing with their own money and made decisions alone about purchases.

No statistically significant differences were found for socioeconomic status or the mothers' employment in relation to any of the variables.