Predicting U.S. Adolescents’ Purchasing of Denim Jeans using Quality Attributes, Behavioral Characteristics, and Sociodemographics

Michelle Clouse, Kelsey Hall, Amber Williams


Jeans were predominant in American closets until the early 2000s when athleisure grew and passed denim in sales. Currently, athleisure is leading the mindshare of adolescents and has been since spring 2014. Youth have as much discretionary spending as college-students, but youth have fewer to no financial responsibilities. This study sought to establish a predictive model of the factors that contribute to the decision-making process when purchasing denim by 13- to 19-year-old adolescents living in the United States. A conceptual model was developed from the buyer-decision process, quality attributes, behavioral characteristics, and sociodemographics to predict an adolescent’s denim purchase intention. An opt-in panel of 460 adolescents living in the United States took a researcher-developed questionnaire online. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to predict the intention to purchase denim jeans using product attributes, sociodemographics, and purchasing behaviors of denim jeans. The statistically significant predictors of intention to purchase denim were intrinsic attributes-appearance of fabric on body, cognitive attributes, if denim had a tighter fit, and if denim was purchased in the last three months. Predictors that decreased respondents’ intention to purchase denim jeans included if the price for one pair of denim was increasingly more than $40 and gender. The findings suggest the factors adolescents consider important when purchasing denim jeans so that manufacturers could adjust production and marketing as needed. Research efforts should include interpersonal and media influences in the conceptual model to predict denim jean purchases. Qualitative research should have youth evaluate product attributes when denim jeans are present.

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