Psychological Aspects of Shopping Addiction: Initial Test of a Stress and Coping Model

T Cassidy, Zara Adair

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There is evidence to suggest that compulsive buying has all the elements of addictive behaviour and can become a psychological problem requiring intervention. The behaviour itself can be triggered by difficulties and distress and generate positive benefits for wellbeing in the short term. Longer term effects can be guilt, anxiety, and depression this sparking a negative affectivity cycle. Interest in the area has been reignited by the growth in online shopping during the recent COVID-19 Pandemic. This study aimed to explore a stress process model of shopping addiction by assessing the relationship between perceived stress, relationship satisfaction, rejection sensitivity, resilience, self-efficacy, loneliness, healthy lifestyle and wellbeing in female emerging adults. The study was based on an online survey of 332 females aged between 18-26 years and used questionnaire data collection. Data were analysed using correlations and path analysis with AMOS 26 software. Results show strong direct relationships between loneliness, rejection sensitivity and shopping addiction, with inverse relationships with resilience, self-efficacy, and relationship satisfaction.There is a reciprocal relationship between wellbeing and shopping addiction, which appears to be a symptom of underlying emotional difficulties. As a widespread and ultimately damaging behaviour it is suggested that it should be taken more seriously than is currently the case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Issue number2
Early online date3 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 3 Jun 2021


  • Shopping addiction
  • relationship satisfaction
  • loneliness
  • rejection sensitivity
  • wellbeing


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