As global material wealth rises and young people are heavily exposed to advertising across a range of channels, including rapidly developing social media where material goods are flaunted as symbols of a happy and successful lifestyle, materialism levels across the world seem likely to rise. Given consistent research showing the correlation between materialism and low well-being, this gives cause for concern. However, no studies have so far tested whether current measures of youth materialism are generalizable across different countries and cultures. Our paper fills this gap by exploring through a range of internal and external validity tests whether the popular Youth Materialism Scale (YMS) can be used with confidence across China, France, Belgium, Poland, the UK, and the USA. We show that a 5-item version of YMS is invariant across the countries (internal validity) and that it broadly correlates in expected ways with 6 different theoretically related constructs: Self-Esteem, Life-Satisfaction, Attitude to Advertising, Parental Support, TV Use and Internet Use (external validity). We believe that researchers and policy makers can confidently use this 5-item version of the scale in international contexts.
- MGMT Marketing and Consumption