Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Frazier

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Blaisure

Third Advisor

Dr. Zee-Sun Yun

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This qualitative study explored symbolic clothing disposition behaviors of Generation Y. The disposition of their wedding gowns was investigated using material possession attachment concepts. The study explored the following research questions: (1) What did Generation Y wedding gown owners do with their wedding gowns after the wedding?, (2) What disposition method was used and why the disposition method was chosen?, and (3) How is attachment to a wedding gowns related to the disposition method selected? Subjects were recruited using a non-probability, chain referral or snowball purposive approach. Within the broad categories of keeping and disposing of, many of the specific disposition behaviors described in the literature were found in these subjects, with additional previously undescribed behavior of storing without cleaning. The major drivers of disposition behavior were sentimental keeper, minimalist reducer, making money, helping others, damaged garment, lack of money, disappointment in garment, and artistic expression. Attachment to a garment was found to affect the disposition behavior, with higher level of attachment associated with keeping behaviors. Influencing factors of attachment included self-identity, mental energy, interpersonal ties, emotional attachment, condition of the garment, and cost.

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