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An investigation of self-concept, clothing selection, and life satisfaction among disabled consumers

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Hyo Jung Chang (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Nancy Hodges

Abstract: This dissertation investigates the relationships between various aspects of self-concept (i.e., generalized self-efficacy, public self-consciousness, state hope, and self-esteem), clothing selection (i.e., clothing that expresses individuality, clothing that improves the emotional state, clothing that camouflages the body), and life satisfaction among disabled consumers. This study aims to examine the impact that such aspects of disabled consumers' self-concept have on the type of clothing they choose to wear and their life satisfaction. A two-step research design was employed. Step one consisted of a qualitative preliminary study. In step two, a survey questionnaire was developed based on a review of existing literature and the findings of the preliminary study. A total of five hypotheses were developed based on constructs defined in the literature on self-concept, life satisfaction and clothing selection. Existing measurements were selected from the literature to assess each construct and to test the hypotheses. The survey was disseminated at universities and community disability organizations. A total of 318 usable questionnaires were collected from 113 females and 199 males whose ages ranged from 18 to 81 years, with an average age of 38 years. Most of the respondents were Caucasian/White. The majority of the participants had a mobility impairment or a visual impairment, and have had their disabilities for over 10 years. Structural equation modeling was employed via Lisrel 8.8 to test the hypotheses. Results for the main effects of the conceptual model revealed a X2 of 2873.37 (df = 1023; p < .000), GFI of .72, CFI of .94, RMSEA of .076, NFI of .90, and X2/df = 2.80. Based on the inclusion of the two additional paths suggested by the modification indices, the adjusted model had a X2 of 2285.51 (df = 932; p < .000), GFI of .76, CFI of .95, RMSEA of .068, NFI of .91, and X2/df = 2.45. The model was deemed to be an acceptable fit for the data. Results indicate that for disabled consumers, self-esteem is related to two aspects of their multifaceted self-concept, public self-consciousness and state hope, and that self-esteem positively influences life satisfaction. Findings suggest that disabled individuals who are satisfied with their lives are more likely to choose clothing to express their distinctive identities. Positive relationships between state hope and life satisfaction and between public self-consciousness and the assurance dimension of clothing choice were identified. Additionally, significant relationships were found between generalized self-efficacy and self-esteem, and between self-esteem and the assurance dimension of clothing choice. This study provides a theoretical framework that describes the relationships between disabled consumers' self-concept, life satisfaction, and clothing choice. Results shed light on the social-psychological factors influencing clothing choices of disabled consumers and thereby address a gap in the literature by considering the use of clothing by this often overlooked consumer segment. More research is needed to provide further empirical support for the relationships between self-concept, clothing choice, and life satisfaction found in this study.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2012
Keywords
Clothing Selection, Disabled Consumers, Life Satisfaction, Self-Concept
Subjects
People with disabilities $x Psychology
People with disabilities $x Clothing
Fashion $x Psychological aspects
Self-perception
Quality of life