Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Textiles and Clothing

First Advisor

Mary Lynn Damhorst


The study explored the relationships among attitudinal, social, and behavioral variables associated with Internet apparel shopping. Study objectives were: (1) to examine consumers' experience with the Internet, in-home apparel shopping, and Internet apparel shopping, (2) to propose theoretical models explaining consumer adoption of the Internet for apparel shopping by incorporating two social psychological theories---the theory of reasoned action and the theory of innovation adoption, and (3) to test the proposed models for respondents and subset groups (mail order shoppers and non-mail order shoppers);A self-administrated questionnaire was mailed to a random national sample of 1,600 households. A total of 448 questionnaires were returned, generating a 27.4% return rate. Of these, 355 usable questionnaires were submitted for data analysis using descriptive analysis, exploratory factor analysis, MANOVA, ANOVA, and structural equation modeling via LISREL VII and AMOS;Although respondents showed a tremendously increased adoption rate of Internet apparel shopping compared to previous research findings, respondents were still hesitant to shop for apparel through the Internet. Respondents indicated that they would shop for apparel more often through the Internet if there were some market incentives for Internet shoppers such as free and easier product returns, innovative functions (e.g., view of how the garment looks on their own body), and ensured credit card safety;Through causal model analyses, the decision making process of Internet adoption for apparel shopping was explained by three components: (1) belief-attitude-behavioral relationships, (2) social support and social acceptance, and (3) prior experience with the Internet. The hypothesized paths generated from the theory of reasoned action and the theory of innovation adoption were significant across the proposed models. Specifically, prior experience with the Internet had the strongest influence on apparel buying intention through the Internet across all models. No significant differences in parameter estimates were found between mail order and non-mail order shoppers. Age, education, and household income were important demographic variables affecting consumer adoption of Internet apparel shopping. Implications for industry and academia were generated based on findings.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Eunah Yoh



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

126 pages