The Effects of Hispanic Ethnic Identification on Teenager Influence in Purchase Decisions:
An Exploratory Study
by Salil Talpade, Medha Talpade, and Suresh Prabhu
The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of Hispanic ethnic identification on teenager influence in purchase decision making. Previous research on teenager influence in family purchase decision making focused on teenagers from the dominant Anglo-American culture. Research on marital roles in family purchase decision making, focusing on Hispanic couples, is reviewed, and these two research streams are integrated and extended to focus on the effects of Hispanic teenagers. Measurement issues are discussed and hypotheses are developed based on the results of previous studies and the extent of Hispanic ethnic identification. The extension in this article of previous research on teenager's influence, including the methodology used provides a basis for a cross-cultural comparison of such influence.
The data for this study was collected on a pilot sample of 50 Hispanic teenagers and their mothers. The authors of this study conclude that this data reveals that teenagers with a higher Hispanic ethnic identification appear to have a more traditional role orientation than teenagers with lower Hispanic ethnic identification in terms of their influence on the decision making process for family purchases. Their influence was lower for durable items purchased for use by the entire family, but it was similar to other teenagers' influence for durable items purchased for their own use. Female teenagers with higher Hispanic ethnic identification were more likely to have an influence on grocery purchases, and females were more likely (than males) to agree with their mothers about their perceived influence on the decision process.
These findings, if confirmed by a larger study, would have significant implications for product development and promotions of products targeted at the Hispanic segment of the market. For example, teenagers in the Hispanic segment of the market would be given lower emphasis than their Anglo-American counterparts in terms of the development and promotions of products targeted at the family as a whole. On the other hand, products and promotional programs targeted at teenagers themselves would require fewer adjustments than is the case with other teenagers.