Debt Out of Control: The Links Between Self-control, Compulsive Buying, and Real Debts

Anja Achtziger, Marco Hubert, Peter Kenning, Gerhard Raab, Lucia Reisch

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    In a representative sample of the German population (n = 946), we explored the links between self-control, compulsive buying, and debts. Participants completed the self-control scale (Tangney, Boone, & Baumeister, 2004) and the German Addictive Buying Scale (Raab, Neuner, Reisch, & Scherhorn, 2005). Additionally, they gave information about their real debts. It was observed that self-control was negatively related to debts while compulsive buying was positively related to debts. Detailed analyses revealed that the link between self-control and debts was fully mediated by compulsive buying. Finally, there was a gender effect on compulsive buying: women were more prone to compulsive buying than men. Age also was significantly negatively related to compulsive buying and positively linked to self-control. Household income was not linked to self-control, compulsive buying, and debts. Implications for practice, policy, and research are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
    Pages (from-to)141-149
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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