How teenage girls affect mothers' buying

Teenage girls influence the consumption behaviour of their mothers more than a mum impacts on the purchases of their offspring, new research has suggested. Published in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour, the study showed that the makeup or clothing a woman purchases is often swayed by the style of their daughter.

Dr Ayalla Ruvio, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Temple University Fox School of Business - which has been striving to prepare business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs for career success since 1918 - found the tendency to mimic is much stronger for mums than it is for their offspring.

He said the finding "provides initial support for the notion of reverse socialisation and suggests that the impact adolescents have on their parents is much more profound than has been credited to them".

Moreover, the copying is not an unconscious decision, Dr Ruvio noted, adding subjects intentionally choose the figure they want to emulate.

Dr Brian Young, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Exeter, commented: "Reverse socialisation in consumer research has been known for some time now and Karin Ekstrom for example has written about it extensively.

"Socialisation is a flaky concept for psychologists and one critique is - why should children and youth always be on the receiving end of the socialisation process?

"Surely to do justice to the complex nexus known as the family we have to take into account how children socialise parents? Once this flow of influence is recognised then many examples can be found.

"For example skills required to use new media and digital technologies are often acquired by the family with the older child or adolescent acting as the skilled agent.

"Dr Ruvio's research focuses on one aspect of reverse socialisation which is mum being influenced by teenage girls fashion but dads and their sons consume together as well, with for example Dad trying white-water rafting or bungee jumping to keep up with their sons."