Survey on Children’s Appearance in the Maintenance of Identities and Impression Management for their Mothers

Hi, we’re a group of 4 students from the National University of Singapore (NUS). For our Sociology project, we’re conducting research on the role of children's appearances in the maintenance of identities and impression management for their mothers. Here are some questions that we hope to ask you mothers out there, which would take around 10 minutes to complete.

You may choose to either post your responses directly in this forum thread or send a private email to us ( We would really appreciate it if you could help us by participating in this survey! Also, do feel free to comment on each other's responses, as these responses may allow us to glean new insights with regards to this particular topic! Thank you very much!


Interview questions:

1.) What percentage of your kids’ clothes/shoes comes from an originally adult, or designer, clothing/shoe line (eg. DNKY, Guess, GAP, Burberry, Cerisi)
Why do you buy these clothes/shoes (fit, quality, comfort, style, etc.)?
Were they gifts?
Are these clothes/shoes for special occasions—pictures, parties, etc.?

2.) Do you bring your kids to hair salons to have their hair styled? On special occasions or ordinary family outings?

3.) Do you buy your kids expensive toys, regardless of whether they ask for it?

4.) Do you dress your kids differently when they’re around certain groups (like dress them up for church, down for school, up for playgroups, etc. By dressing up, we mean that the child is wearing something that is more presentable and formal/visibly branded/expensive/not-from-pasar-malam.) How different is it?

5.) Are they dressed differently when you know you’ll be leaving the house than when you’re “hanging out at home” all day?

6.) Do your kids dress better than you do?

7.) Do you think that the way your kids look is a better reflection of what kind of child they are (clean, tidy, obedient) or what kind of parent you are (fashion-forward, meticulous, respectable)?
If you think it reflects what kind of parent you are, how do you think your child’s dressing would reflect your parental image?

8.) Will you continue to buy branded clothes/shoes when your kids get older?

9.) Do you think that it is important to dress up your child well? Why?

10.) How important is being a good mother to your overall identity? On a scale of 1-10, 1 being the least important, 10 being the most important, please rate yourself.

11.) How important is child rearing compared to having a career?


Thank you for your time. Hope you have a wonderful day!