Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Ecology

First Advisor

Teresa A. Summers


This study determined consumers' perception of and attitude toward American alligator leather products and evaluated factors affecting consumers' purchase intention of the products. The Fishbein and Ajzen (1975, 1980) theory of reasoned behavior served as the theoretical framework for the study. The influence of six variables on purchase intention was measured: attitude toward purchase based on product attributes, subjective norm with respect to purchase, traditional attitude toward fashion products (fashion involvement), personality traits (self-confidence and self-consciousness), price perception (price-quality schema and prestige sensitivity), and demographics. The correlation between consumers' usage of media for fashion information and purchase intention was also explored. Mail surveys were conducted on a total sample of 1800 females from the population with household incomes of $75,000 or more, residing in eight selected metropolitan statistical areas of the United States. Among them, 690 returned their questionnaires for a response rate of 39%. Data were analyzed using GLM analysis, T-tests, ANOVA, and correlation analyses. The GLM analysis showed attitude and subjective norm had the most significant influences on purchase intention. Self-confidence and education also had significant influences. Prospective purchasers were individuals who had a favorable attitude toward the products, felt strong social pressure to buy the products, had some college education, and were self-confident. No other variables were found to have any significant influence on purchase intention. T-tests and correlation analyses did, however, distinguish intended purchasers from non-purchasers based on their fashion involvement, public self-consciousness and price perception. Consumers' media usage for fashion information and purchase intention were significantly positively correlated. Usage of up-scale catalogs had the most significant correlation with purchase intention, followed by movies, celebrities, magazines, TV shows, and the Internet. This study incorporated all proposed variables in one model and evaluated the relative importance of each variable in predicting consumers' purchase intention of the product. The Fishbein and Ajzen (1975, 1980) theory seemed to be effective in predicting consumers' purchase intention of American alligator leather products. Results of this study may be useful to the American alligator industry in targeting their prospective market.