This is sometimes attributed to the amount of the

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Unformatted text preview: as in enhanced occupational placement and earnings attainment [Powell & Parcel 1997:33]. Likewise children from larger families have lower levels of verbal facility and lower levels of mathematics and reading achievement [De Gruyter, 1994:417]. Furthermore, children from larger families have less favourable home environments, lower levels of educational achievement and higher levels of behavioural problems [Hong, 2000:457 and Downey, 1995:746; and Parcel & Menaghan, 1993:120]. This is sometimes attributed to the amount of the family’s available income [Booth, 2002:63]. Although no South African statistics are available, during 2000, the estimated annual expenditures on a child, aged 9 to 11 years, by 62 husband-wife families in the United States totaled $165,630 [World Almanac & Book of Facts, 2002:69]. Families are sometimes referred to “small businesses” and reflect the influences and activities of the individuals in the family. Individuals often buy products for the family as well as their own use [Burgess, 1998:19]. Three variables that help elucidate how families function include adaptability, cohesion and communication. Adaptability measures the ability of a family to change its power structure, relationships rules and role relationships in response to situational and development stress. The degree of adaptability shows how well a family can meet the challenges presented by changing needs. Cohesion is the emotional way that family members bond with each other. It measures how close or apart individuals are from the rest of their family. Communication is a dimension that is dependent on the first two variables. Positive communication skills enable a family to adapt and bond easily, whilst negative communication skills restrict adaptability and cohesion [Liebman, 2001:8 and Engel et al., 1995:744]. Family communication concerning consumer issues and consumption is an imperative aspect of consumer soation, because such communication is one of the processes by which parents pass on market place skills and knowledge to their children. [Carlson et al., 1992:31]. Family decision-making is the process by which decisions that directly or indirectly involve two or more family members are made [Hawkins et al., 2001:206]. The decision-making process (which is the last section of this chapter) is different for individual purchases and purchases made by a family. An example of the possible roles that different family members play when buying a toy is illustrated in figure 2.10. 63 Figure 2.10: The nature of family purchase roles Initiator Child asks for a new toy. Influencer Mom thinks it would be a good birthday present. User The child. PURCHASING DECISION Decider Mom and dad agree to buy. Child chooses the toy. Purchaser Dad buys the toy. Source: Adapted from Kotler, P., 2000, Marketing Management, Millennium edition, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Prentice-Hall, p. 176. Any family member is capable of playing any role and subsequently influencing the final outcome. A mother, for instance, may be the...
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