Materialism in young consumers

Hagar Adib (The German University in Cairo, New Cairo City, Egypt)
Noha El‐Bassiouny (The German University in Cairo, New Cairo City, Egypt)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Publication date: 14 September 2012



In the current highly commercialized environment, youth materialism is believed to be elevating. Given the adverse effects of materialism on society in general and on young consumers in particular, the purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of youth materialism in Egypt along with parental influence in the transmission of materialistic values and hence building up recommendations and programs for impeding this phenomenon.


The empirical investigation was conducted through pursuing a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods. A deeper understanding of the problem at hand was generated by the qualitative research through conducting in‐depth interviews with children, parents and educators; where the broader target was reached as well as a more comprehensive view was attained by quantitative research through self‐administered surveys for parents and children.


The results showed a positive correlation between parental materialism and child materialism. Concerning the relationships between family communication patterns, parental mediation practices and child materialism, the results indicated that indirect mediation was the strongest predictor for child materialism followed by restrictive mediation, while active mediation was not found as a significant predictor for child materialism.

Research limitations/implications

The purpose of this research is tri‐divided and limited to the following goals: first, capturing cultural differences for the manifestation of materialism in the Egyptian context. Second, examining the extent to which parents contribute and influence the transmission of materialistic values among young consumers. Third, proposing parents as a potential countervailing power against excessive youth materialism.

Practical implications

The results of the study show that necessary steps should be taken by designing programs that involve parents as a potential countervailing power against excessive youth materialism. The results also showed a positive relationship between parents and child materialism. Furthermore, the results from the qualitative research indicated that parents are not really aware of the adverse effects materialism can have on their children. Moreover, the results indicated that there is a positive correlation between socio‐oriented communication and restrictive mediation. At the same time and in line with the proposed conceptual model of the current research, restrictive mediation was found to be the second largest contributor to childhood materialism.

Social implications

It is suggested that greater transparency about the consequences of materialism could work in favor of altering materialism (Abela). Hence, parents should be aware that excess youth materialism, as previously discussed in the literature, is associated with poor school performance, poor ethical behavior, shoplifting tendencies, unhealthy food consumption, and greater levels of life dissatisfaction.


The research is unique in that it sets the ground for research in the critical area of young consumers in an important emerging market; Egypt. In addition, the novel interdisciplinary approach also contributes to the international literature in terms of both conceptualization and findings.



Hagar Adib and Noha El‐Bassiouny (2012) "Materialism in young consumers", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 255-282

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