Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Reed, Mary Frances, 1906-||Kilpatrick, Julia||Rockwood, Catherine

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Clothing and dress; Consumer education; Shopping; Consumers


The research project is a comparative study of clothing buying habits of 111 senior, junior, and sophomore girls enrolled in clothing classes at Madonna High School, Chicago, Illinois. The writer hypothesized that as the students move from the sophomore through the junior and on to the senior year, there will be a significant increase in clothing expenditure. The second hypothesis stated that there will be a higher total clothing expenditure when the parent pays for the girl’s clothes than when the girl herself pays for them. Therefore, the following purposes were undertaken for the present study. 1. To discover what the senior, junior, and sophomore girls in high school clothing classes spent in one year on their clothing. 2. To find if there was a significant difference in the amount of money spent for clothing by these senior, junior, and sophomore girls. 3. To discover if a girl spent more for clothes when her parents paid for them, or when she paid from her allowance or her earnings. To discover if there was a difference in total clothing expenditure when the girl selected her clothing or when her parents selected the clothing. 5. To find the difference in clothing expenditure by those girls who planned their budgets and those who did not. 6. To discover what factors these teen-agers considered in selecting dresses, skirts, sweaters, hats, and shoes. 7. To find the amount of money these girls spent in various categories of clothing. The subjects used in the study were between fifteen and eighteen years of age, all enrolled in clothing classes at Madonna High School, a private school, in Chicago, Illinois, These girls included sixteen seniors, twenty-six juniors, and sixty-nine sophomores. The questionnaire and the interview were the methods used in collecting information about each girl's wardrobe and the cost of each garment purchased from January 1 through December 31, 1962. In April of 1962, a sixty-item wardrobe questionnaire was given, asking for a complete listing of all garments possessed. This data seemed not to give an accurate assessment of the value of the garments. Therefore, another listing was received in the fall of 1962, using the same questionnaire but limiting it to checking only the garments purchased over the period of one year, January 1 to December 31, 1962. However, some information was still omitted and some, misunderstood. The writer met every girl in a private interview to clarify terms and meanings and to fill in the omitted information. In February of 1963, an additional "Factor Sheet" was given, requesting the respondent to fill in the factors which influence her buying preferences. The results obtained substantiated the purposes of the study for this particular group in the following way: Purpose 1: This group of 111 girls spent a total of $53,621.47 in one year on their wardrobe. The sixteen seniors spent a grand total of $8,585.36} the twenty-six juniors, $13,135.51, and the sixty-nine sophomores topped it with $31,900.60. A junior made a yearly wardrobe expenditure of $1,437.25, the highest of the group; and the lowest of $72.50 was spent by a sophomore, giving a median of $420.28. Purpose 2: The hypothesis, "As students move from the sophomore to the junior to the senior year, their expenditure for clothing will increase significantly," was substantiated as true. The seniors spent the greatest amount, although a progressive trend was not in every category for the seniors. Every category shows a significant difference among the groups of students. Purpose 3: The third hypothesis, "There will be higher total clothing expenditure when the parent pays than when the girl herself pays for her clothes," resulted as untrue. The highly significant Chi-Square result of 290.81 in favor of the girl's paying for her clothes proved this. Mother paid much less when paying for the clothes. Purpose 4: The study showed an increased expenditure when the student selected the clothes than when the mother selected them. Evidence points to an increased independence among these girls, although 55 per cent of them still selected with mother's help. Purpose 5: Seven of the 111 girls "always planned" their clothing expenditures. These seven spent significantly more than those who "sometimes planned" and those who "never planned." Purpose 6: Color, Style, and Because I Liked It were the three factors which received top rating by all the respondents when they checked the "Factor Sheet." Purpose 7: The largest amount spent in any category was for lingerie; nylon hose came second; shoes, third; and sportswear, fourth highest. These categories took an appreciable amount of money for one year. In view of the fact that these girls wear uniforms in school, they seem to be spending in excess of their actual needs. Teen-agers need help in the proper use of money, in formulating decisions, and in making a choice of garments for an adequate wardrobe.


Includes bibliographical references.


vi, 76 pages




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