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Dress and the Public, Private and Secret Self Model during emerging adulthood

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This research is a new application of Dress and the Public, Private and Secret Self (PPSS) Model. From a symbolic interaction theory approach, dress and parts of the self were developed in 1981 and expanded in 1994 from three categories to nine. According to the literature, adolescents use dress in two cells of the PPSS Model while older adults use dress in nine cells. To find out whether there is a different stage of dress between adolescence and older adulthood, this research uses the concept of emerging adulthood (18–25 years) to test the use of dress and levels of the self. A quantitative scale was developed for this purpose since none were found in the literature. A total of 351 questionnaires were analysed and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) ensured the validity of the measure. Data analyses included test of within-subjects effects, a paired sample t-test, mean differences and an independent t-test. Findings from 261 surveys from respondents 18–25 years of age indicate that this sample experienced six cells at an average to above-average level of experience, supporting the hypothesis that differences among age groups on dress and PPSS could result from a maturation process. Implications are discussed for further research.
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Keywords: age; dress; emerging adults; gender; identity exploration; self-expression

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Kentucky 2: Baylor University 3: Sangji Youngseo College

Publication date: October 1, 2017

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  • Fashion, Style & Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal specifically dedicated to the area of fashion scholarship and its interfacings with popular culture. It was established to provide an interdisciplinary environment for fashion academics and practitioners to publish innovative scholarship in all aspects of fashion and popular culture relating to design, textiles, production, promotion, consumption and appearance-related products and services. Articles related to history, manufacturing, aesthetics, sourcing, marketing, branding, merchandising, retailing, technology, psychological/sociological aspects of dress, style, body image, and cultural identities, as well as purchasing, shopping, and the ways and means consumers construct identity as associated to Fashion, Style & Popular Culture are welcomed. The journal offers a broad range of written and visual scholarship and includes works done through various methods of research. We welcome conceptual, theoretical and translational applied research in the areas of fashion, style and popular culture. This journal hopes to stimulate new discussions in the fashion disciplines and to push the envelope of scholarship by welcoming new and established scholars to submit their works.
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