Direct and retrospective assessment of factors contributing to compulsive buying

Raymond G. Miltenberger, Jennifer Redlin, Ross Crosby, Marcella Stickney, Jim Mitchell, Stephen Wonderlich, Ronald Faber, Joshua Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Compulsive buying is a disorder that has begun to receive attention from researchers in recent years. The results of a handful of studies suggest that compulsive buying occurs in response to negative emotions and results in a decrease in the intensity of the negative emotions. In this investigation, we used interview and self-monitoring methods to evaluate the antecedents and consequences of compulsive buying in a sample of women who met criteria for compulsive buying on the compulsive buying scale (J. Consumer Res. 19 (1992) 459). As a group, the participants reported negative emotions as the most common antecedents to compulsive buying, and euphoria or relief from the negative emotions as the most common consequence of compulsive buying. These findings were consistent across the interview and self-monitoring assessment methods. The implications for assessment and treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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