Asian Americans and Materialism: Exploring the phenomenon and its why and when


Objectives: Consumer values, including but not limited to materialism, have received much less attention than other topics within research on Asian Americans. Methods: Across 3 studies (N = 6,955), the author explored the difference between Asian Americans and White/European Americans on materialism, and the mediating and moderating mechanisms. Results: Studies 1a-1c found Asian Americans, compared to White/European Americans, more strongly endorsed materialistic values. In Study 2, the author tested a multiple mediation model and demonstrated that Asian Americans, compared to White/European Americans, more strongly endorse materialistic values because they reported higher extrinsic aspirations (i.e., stronger desires for money, image, and popularity). Finally, in Study 3, the author tested a moderation model and found that Asian Americans who are higher on a general tendency to adhere to norms endorse a greater level of materialism than White/European Americans. Conclusions: The author discussed how these results have implications for expanding the research topics within research on Asian Americans, consequences for mental health and provide future directions to counteract materialism.

Publication Title

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology