Edited by Americus Reed and Mark Forehand
Chapter 29: Children’s materialism and identity development
The development of identity and materialism in children and adolescents are fundamentally intertwined. Like adults, children use possessions to signal fundamental aspects of their identity both to themselves and to important others. This chapter groups the discussion of how materialism develops and the role identity plays in terms of socialization factors and psychological factors that influence materialism. Socialization factors include parents, peers and media. Psychological factors focus on fundamental identity motives such as self-esteem, power and belongingness. Although socialization and psychological factors have independent effects on the development of identity and materialism, socialization factors also impact the psychological factors. The authors discuss what factors make particular aspects of identity-salient, and how identity salience influences identity-relevant consumption. They conclude with recommendations for future research, identifying potentially fruitful research gaps.
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