An Integrative Model of the Influence of Parental and Peer Support on Consumer Ethical Beliefs: The Mediating Role of Self-Esteem, Power, and Materialism

Journal of Business Ethics 150 (4):1173-1186 (2018)
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Abstract

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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