Parental influence on consumer and purchase behaviour of Generation Y

  • M Wiese
  • L Kruger


Role models have been researched extensively and studies suggest an influence on consumer behaviour. However, limited research is available on direct role models’ influence on the behaviour of young adults. The goal of this research was to utilise Social Cognitive Theory as a guide to understanding how direct role models, such as those of parents influence the consumer and the purchase behaviour of Generation Y (18-35 years old). Non-probability convenience sampling was used and three hundred and sixty-nine respondents completed self-administered questionnaires. The results from structural equation modelling (SEM) support Social Cognitive Theory as parental role model influence (the general perception of parents as role models) affects consumer behaviour, which, in turn, affects purchase behaviour. The consumer and purchase behaviour of the younger (18-25 years old) Generation Y cohort respondents thus reflect parents’ opinions; since the parents were regarded as the role models. These findings emphasise the important role of parents to provide guidance for young adolescence to become skilled consumers and to set good examples in terms of shopping habits. Generation Y consumers should be aware of retailers’ and advertisers’ attempts to capitalise on this influence of parental role models.  Reinforcing marketing campaigns, whereby Generation Y consumers are reminded that their parents have been using the specific products or brands as to encourage them to follow suite, is one such an example.


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eISSN: 0378-5254