Transforming beyond self: Fluidity of parent identity in family decision-making

Joy Parkinson, Danielle Gallegos, Rebekah Russell-Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


When a household welcomes a new infant a transformation occurs whereby household routines, values and decisions change. This research explores how decision-making is influenced by fluctuating identity subjectivities. We explore longitudinally, using a family identity framework, how the transitioning between self, couple and family self-identities influences the decisions made regarding social issues, in this case infant feeding. Results indicate that decision-making during a period of transformation is not straightforward, relying on a multiplicity of identities that are constantly renegotiated and dependent on other influences. Decisions made conform to the identity-construct-of-the-moment, but are fluid and subject to change, such that pinpointing causal pathways is inappropriate. Implications for influencing the consumption of social behaviors for consumer researchers are one size does not fit all and require an in-depth understanding of the fluidity of decision-making. Consequently, social marketing strategies need to be tailored to constructed identities and flexible across time to remain influential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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