The impact of ethical concerns on family consumer decision-making

Lindsey Carey, Deirdre Shaw, Edward Shiu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)


    Ethical consumerism and family consumer decision-making, including the influence of children in this area, are spheres of consumer behaviour in which a substantial amount of academic research has already been undertaken. However, the crossover of these two areas is as yet under-researched, as well as the level of pester power parents are subjected to from children aged 3 and under. This paper uses qualitative methods to investigate the issues surrounding the ethical consumer decision-making process with families who have children aged 3 years old or under. This research found that the motivation to pursue an ethical lifestyle varied across the sample, but the emergence of an ‘inheritance factor’, where parents are awakened to ethical issues because of the birth of their child, was prominent. Other issues that transpired from this research include the prominence of ethical trade-offs in consumer decision-making, ethical choices as normalizing behaviour and finally the presence of pester power in the ethical context.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)553-560
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2008


    • ethical consumers
    • family consumer decision-making
    • pester power


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