Revising a measure to assess consumer-related family communication patterns

Marina Krcmar (Wake Forest University, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Matthew Allen Lapierre (University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Publication date: 16 April 2018



This paper aims to revise an earlier version of a measure used to assess parent–child consumer-based communication to better capture how parents talk with their children about consumer matters.


Three separate studies were used to revise the measure. The first tested the original measure with parents and children in a supermarket to determine its predictive validity. The second utilized focus groups with parents to refine the measure. The final study sampled 503 parents via MTurk to test the performance of the revised measure regarding reliability and validity.


The first study found that the original scale did not perform well as it relates to predicting child consumer behavior. The second study used parents to describe in their own words how they talk to their own children about consumer issues. Using these insights, the final study used the redesigned scale and identified four dimensions to the consumer-related family communication patterns instrument: collaborative communication, control communication, product value and commercial truth. These four dimensions had good reliability, convergent validity and predictive validity.

Research limitations/implications

With an updated measure of parent–child consumer-based communication that more closely matches how parents talk to their children about consumer issues, this measure can help researchers understand how children are socialized as consumers.


This study offers researchers a reliable and valid measure of parent–child consumer-based communication that can help inform future studies on this important topic.



Krcmar, M. and Lapierre, M. (2018), "Revising a measure to assess consumer-related family communication patterns", Young Consumers, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 87-104.

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