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Keywords:

  • compulsive buying;
  • financial management practices;
  • impulsivity

Abstract

Previous research has shown that negative urgency impulsivity is associated with compulsive buying even after controlling for depression. The aim of the present study was to replicate this finding and to examine if financial management practices mediated this relationship. A community sample of 162 participants (34 male and 128 female), aged between 18 and 82 years, completed online self-report questionnaire measures. As expected, results revealed (1) significant positive associations between compulsive buying and both negative urgency impulsivity (NUI) and psychological distress; and (2) a significant negative association between compulsive buying and financial management practices. We also found that after controlling for psychological distress (3) NUI was still significantly correlated with compulsive buying, and (4) financial management practices partially mediated the relationship between NUI and financial management practices. Our findings are consistent with an extension of the theory that compulsive buying is motivated by relieving negative mood states, positing both negative affect-driven impulsivity and psychological distress as important factors in understanding compulsive buying. These findings also support current cognitive-behavioural interventions for the treatment of compulsive buying that target psychological distress, NUI, and financial management practices.