Investigation of factors influencing parents choice and purchase of clothing for their preschool children in Nairobi
Njororai, Fletcher Injede
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The aim of this study was to determine whether or not parents in Nairobi are aware of their preschool children's clothing needs and identify the factors which influence their choices of the children's clothing. This study was a descriptive survey research, expost facto design since there was no control of the variables. The study was conducted between September 1992 and November 1992 using a sample of 120 randomly selected respondents. One hundred and twenty preschool children were randomly selected from four randomly selected nursery schools in Nairobi to act as the intermediaries to the various households. It is the parents/guardians of the children who were the respondents of the study. The sampling was done through stratified, multistage cluster method. A questionnaire was used to elicit information pertaining to the research objectives. The data obtained were analyzed by computer using the statistical package for social Science (SPSS) Programme. Frequencies, percentages, and the chi-square test of significance were used to accomplish the objectives. The findings revealed that of the various preschool children's clothing needs that have to be considered in the choices made, parents considered freedom of movement and peer-group approval (opinion) to be of some importance while self-help features and future-growth features were of least importance. This implies that most parents in Nairobi are ignorant of the significance of such factors in the preschoolers, clothing or if aware, they place these factors lower on the priority scale due to the influence of other factors e.g. economic constraints. It is also possible that the parents may be unfamiliar with such features and therefore not able to identify them on the preschoolers' clothing. The three most influential product characteristics in parents' choices of the preschoolers clothing were: "how well it fitted, durability, and quality of construction," while the least influential ones were: "future-growth features, information labels and self-help features". It was found that clothing displays and person-dominated channels such as family members and peers' opinion were sources used mostly for clothing information by the parents. Further findings show that although most parents in Nairobi used a combination of sources in acquiring their preschoolers' clothing, the new clothing stores/boutiques were more popular among them. At P<0.05 confidence level, the chi-square test of significance revealed no significant relationship between: (1) selected product characteristics (price, growth features, self-help features, maintenance) and parents demographic characteristics (educational level, income and number of dependants); and (2) Child's gender and parents considerations of selected product characteristics (trimmings, colour, acceptable style by Society).