What causes adolescents to develop consumer’ ethical beliefs? Prior research has largely focused on the negative influence of peers and negative patterns of parent–child interactions to explain risky and unethical consumer behaviors. We take a different perspective by focusing on the positive support of parents and peers in adolescent social development. An integrative model is developed that links parental and peer support with adolescents’ self-worth motives, their materialistic tendencies, and their consumer ethical beliefs. In a study of 984 adolescents, we demonstrate support for a sequential mediation model in which peer and parental support is positively related to adolescents’ self-esteem and feelings of power, which are each associated with decreased materialism as a means of compensating for low self-worth. This reduced materialism is, in turn, associated with more ethical consumer beliefs.
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When the hypothesis of mediation by multiple potential mediators is entertained, multiple mediations are the appropriate analytic strategy (Preacher and Hayes 2008; Zhao et al. 2010). “Bootstrapping provides the most powerful and reasonable method of obtaining confidence limits for specific indirect effects under most conditions” (Preacher and Hayes 2008, p. 886). Therefore, Preacher and Hayes’s primary recommendation is to use bootstrapping—in particular, BC bootstrapping—when multiple mediators are entertained.
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Gentina, E., Shrum, L.J., Lowrey, T.M. et al. An Integrative Model of the Influence of Parental and Peer Support on Consumer Ethical Beliefs: The Mediating Role of Self-Esteem, Power, and Materialism. J Bus Ethics 150, 1173–1186 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3137-3
- Adolescent consumers
- Peer support
- Parental support