Employed women's intentions to purchase apparel sewing services: beliefs, attitudes, and normative influences

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Virginia Tech

Historically, the construction, alteration, and mending of clothing was provided through household production activities, free of charge by the female members of the household or members of the extended family. These practices have changed in some families because of societal and cultural changes such as the increasing number of women who are employed outside of the household. Apparel construction, alteration, and mending are now available for purchase from service providers in the marketplace. Thus the overall purpose of this research was to examine the nature and foundation of the nonnative influences and attitudes of a sample of employed women toward purchasing apparel sewing services.

Ajzen and Fishbein's (1980) reasoned action model which theorizes four stable relationships provided the theoretical framework for the research. The four relationships were Behavior-Intention (BI}, Attitude-Subjective Norm-Intention (ASNI), Behavioral Beliefs-Attitude (BBA), and Normative Beliefs-Subjective Norm (NBSN). Four corresponding objectives were investigated for three sewing services, clothing construction, alteration, and mending. A fifth objective for each apparel sewing service was used to explore the possible associations among a set of external variables and the employed women's estimated attitudes, estimated subjective norms, and the relative weights of the attitudinal and normative components in the ASNI relationship.

Questions to measure behaviors, intentions to purchase, attitudes, behavioral beliefs, subjective norms, and normative beliefs were developed according to Ajzen and Fishbein's (1980) guidelines. Additional questions were developed to assess fourteen external variables derived from the review of literature. Two thousand ninety two questionnaires were sent through Virginia Tech's campus mail; 657 (97%) of the 679 (32%) returned were useable for the study.

Kendall's Tau testing resulted in significant positive BBA relationships for all three sewing services. Multiple regression testing resulted in significant positive ASNI relationships for all sewing services. Significant positive BBA and NBSN relationships resulted from Pearson Product Moment Correlations for all three sewing services. All four null hypotheses for all three sewing services were rejected and the research hypotheses were supported.

The fifth objective was investigated through three null hypothesis for each sewing service; each null hypothesis was tested with each external variable. The external variable, knowing someone who sews for pay, yielded statistically significant results for all three sewing services in the F-tests for the overall regressions, analysis of variance, and in the Tukey' s post hoc test; however this variable did not lead to significant differences in the standardized betas for services of altering and mending clothes, according to the Chow tests. No other external variables had as many significant tests for all three sewing services as knowing someone who sews for pay had, even though there were other significant tests in some of the relationships tested.

Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

sewing services, clothing construction, alteration, mending, attitudes, services marketing