Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Textiles and Clothing

First Advisor

Geitel Winakor


This research examined risks husbands and wives perceive in giving clothing gifts to family members. The decision-making process for gift giving consists of four stages: prepurchase, purchase, presentation, and postpresentation. The prepurchase stage embraces object; interactions among occasion, recipient, and gift object; giver and recipient; cost of gifts; and information search. The purchase stage includes choice of retail outlets for gifts, distance traveled to locate gifts, and methods of payment. The presentation stage focuses on perceptions of the giver and the recipient when the gift is revealed. The postpresentation stage includes ways in which gifts affect interpersonal relationships and consumption of gifts. Risk perception is one element in the decision-making process. Past research in gift giving and perceived risks for clothing suggests that males and females differ in their risk perception for giving gifts of clothing. This research focused on the risks that husbands and wives perceive in giving a sweatshirt and pants to spouse, sons, and daughters. Seventeen affective items representing perceived risks were repeated for the two garments and three recipients. A total of 103 husband-wife couples from a U.S. midwest city responded independently to questionnaires on an 11-point certainty scale. Data were analyzed by correlation, plotting, and analyses of variance. The correlation analysis showed that respondents did not clearly differentiate among perceived performance, social, psychological, and economic risks in their minds. Wives purchased more gifts of clothing than husbands did. Wives accorded greater importance to risks related to use or resources; husbands placed greater importance on how recipients evaluate them. Givers thought that certain types of risk were important regardless of the child's gender; when giving to females, givers assigned greater importance to risks of recipient's self-esteem, store image, and surprise. Pants were more risky than sweatshirts, but garment interacted with recipient and giver to reduce or amplify perceived risks. Results suggest that the conventional classifications of perceived risk may not apply to gift-giving situations where the buyer is not the ultimate user. Findings suggest that while information may reduce perceived risk, it may not reduce risk in the economic sense because the information enables the buyer to estimate the outcome of his or her decision. The results further suggest that the extrinsic qualities such as money value of the gift and store image may be relatively important in within-family gift giving.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Lena Horne



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

215 pages