Preventing compulsive shopping among young South-Africans and Germans

Duh, H
Thorsten, T.b
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Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Purpose: Young consumers globally are susceptible to becoming compulsive shoppers. Having negative consequences and considering that compulsive shopping may originate from past family life experiences, this study aims to use human capital life-course and positive-activity theories to suggest a socio-psychological pathway for prevention. It also examined the mediating influence of happiness and money attitude. Design/methodology/approach: University students in South Africa (N = 171) and in Germany (N = 202) were surveyed. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to test relationships and multi-group analysis (MGA) assessed cross-cultural differences. Findings: Emotional family resources received during childhood positively impacted happiness at young adulthood, which was found to be a positive driver of budget money attitude. Budget money attitude in turn limited compulsive shopping for German young consumers but not for South Africans. Cross-cultural differences are also observed in mediating effects of happiness and budget money attitude. Research limitations/implications: This study is based on self-reported data from university students; this might limit the generalisability of findings. Social implications: A positive relationship between happiness and desirable money attitude was confirmed. This study additionally contributes by showing that for South African and German young consumers, adequate childhood emotional family resources is a happiness’ driver. This thus exposes the multiplier effects of simple acts of showing love and attention to children and how these family emotional resources can progressively limit dysfunctional consumer behaviour in the future. Originality/value: Unlike complex psychotherapeutical and psychopharmacological treatments of compulsive buying that are being suggested, this study borrows from family, consumer and economic–psychological disciplines to suggest simple preventive measures. © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited.
Happiness , Adolescence emotional family resources , Compulsive shopping , Money attitude
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