Consumer researchers have a long-standing interest in understanding and interpreting the development of materialistic attitudes towards consumption and values in different cultural settings. In this context, the ‘life course’ approach is a recent interdisciplinary movement in consumer behaviour research that operates as an important overarching framework to study the development of materialism in Malaysia. A general conceptual background of the life course paradigm is used in this study for discussing, organising, integrating and presenting these consumer research findings on materialism. A survey of young Malaysian adults (18 to 22 years) was undertaken to test hypotheses derived from the life course literature. Consistent with previous research findings, television viewing and peer communication during adolescent years had a significant association with materialistic values held by young Malaysian adults. Family structure and socio-oriented family communication environment were not found to be significantly associated with materialism. A discussion ensured on the future study theoretical implications of materialism on consumer behaviour in Malaysia. Keywords: family structure, socialization, materialism, life course, television.