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Exploration of factors influencing body image satisfaction and purchase intent: Millennial females

Sara Emma Rieke (Department of Hospitality and Retail Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Deborah Clay Fowler (Department of Hospitality and Retail Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Hyo Jung Chang (Department of Hospitality and Retail Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Natalia Velikova (Department of Hospitality and Retail Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 9 May 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine which factors impact body image satisfaction of Generation Y college age and young professional females born between the years of 1980 and 1993, age 20-33 years in the State of Texas.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey created in Qualtrics was e-mailed to recruit research participants. Quantitative data were collected and analyzed in IBM SPSS Statistics 21. Exploratory factor analysis, reliability, computing variable mean, and linear multiple regression were performed. The variables explored were divided and grouped into major factors.

Findings

Millennial females are influenced by their own personal preferences, morals and beliefs, and certain occasions, seasons, climate, and the weather. These factors significantly influence body image satisfaction. The model developed in this study provides researchers with a new perspective on body image satisfaction and purchase intent. This study extends the theory of reasoned action by identifying specific factors which influence body image satisfaction which leads to the final purchase decision.

Research limitations/implications

Because of this method of data collection the study might not be generalizable to the entire Millennial population. The sample is a small representative sample in the population with only Millennial females’ ages 20-33 years in the State of Texas. Although the study focussed on a single state, the state is an extremely large state encompassing 36 percent of the USA population. Additionally, race/ethnic diversity was also a limitation, as the majority of the sample was Caucasian. Thus, a larger and more diverse sample of age, race/ethnicity, and residence could be added for more generalizable results.

Practical implications

The findings of this study enable retailers to understand how body image can impact the customers perceptions of their stores and their employees. Marketers and retailers should focus on marketing to Millennial females through more personal approach targeting what is appropriate for the consumers size body type labeled clothing size and certain occasions.

Social implications

Confidence in decision making while purchasing apparel is an important aspect of shopping. Further research could benefit from focussing on determining the confidence drivers and their origins.

Originality/value

This study enhances literature by providing a glimpse into the minds of Generation Y female consumers’ body image satisfaction and the factors driving them to purchase apparel.

Keywords

Citation

Rieke, S.E., Fowler, D.C., Chang, H.J. and Velikova, N. (2016), "Exploration of factors influencing body image satisfaction and purchase intent: Millennial females", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 208-229. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-12-2015-0094

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited