Dress and the public, private and secret self model during emerging adulthood

Kimberly A. Miller-Spillman, Min Young Lee, Nicole Huffman, Jeong Ju Yoo, Yang Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-401
Number of pages19
JournalFashion, Style and Popular Culture
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Intellect Ltd Article.


  • Age
  • Dress
  • Emerging adults
  • Gender
  • Identity exploration
  • Self-expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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