Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Textiles and Clothing

First Advisor

Geitel Winakor


Gifts of clothing comprise a high proportion of all gifts given and are important to the apparel market. This research used a holistic focus to interpret behavior of mother-child dyads as related to giving gifts of clothing. Objectives were to: (1) Describe the clothing gift-giving behavior of mothers to children including type of clothing selected, motives for selection, satisfaction level of mothers as givers and children as receivers, and consumption practices for clothing gifts; (2) Identify factors associated with variations in clothing gift-giving behavior; (3) Propose a classification of dyads, and (4) Relate findings to existing theory;A naturalistic approach was used to interview 41 mother-child dyads. Content analysis of transcribed interviews inductively identified themes and patterns of behavior;Six major categories of themes were identified. 'Attitudes Toward Clothing and Appearance' provided understanding of the importance of clothing to these children and their mothers. 'Consumer Socialization' of children included shopping attitudes, values, and practices of mothers regarding clothing purchases. 'A Comparison of Gift and Non-Gift Clothing' involved a description of clothing items given as gifts, expenditure for gifts, occasions, and motives for selection. Sources of information for decision-making, factors affecting spending, retail sources, and shopping time and travel comprised a category of 'Buying Practices.' 'Presentation of the Gift' included the importance of surprise and reaction of the child to a clothing gift. The impact of a clothing gift on the mother-child relationship emerged in 'Outcome of the Gift Presentation.' Several themes differed by level of consumption and clothing interest of mothers and children which became discriminating variables used to develop four profiles of mother-child dyads;Mothers made gift decisions in order to maximize their satisfaction and the satisfaction of their children. The definition of a clothing gift was unclear and varied among and within mother-child dyads. Dyads at all levels of consumption used clothing gifts to supplement children's wardrobes. Mothers' efforts to please their children with successful gifts strengthened the mother-child relationship. Communication within dyads was most important in this process. Results revealed the bi-directional character of consumer socialization within mother-child dyads. Recommendations suggest further study of relationships, family compositions, and cultural groups as well as other methods for gift-giving research.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Linda Langseth Manikowske



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

319 pages