Designing and evaluating a psycho-educational intervention for compulsive shopping (2000)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsGarner, Meganshow all
Compulsive shopping is defined as repetitive purchasing behaviour performed in response to negative affect providing short-term gratification and alleviation of negative emotions. The positive effects of shopping are short-lived and often replaced by feelings of guilt, regret and depression. Compulsive shopping causes personal distress including social and vocational functioning, marital and family disruption and financial problems including bankruptcy and debt. Compulsive shopping is discussed in relation to four theoretical models 1) Escape from Self-awareness, 2) Self-regulation Failure, 3) Distortion of Autonomy, and 4) Negative Affect Regulation. These models conceptualise compulsive shopping in terms of mood regulation achieved through avoidant-style coping strategies. Based on these theories and prior research a psycho-educational intervention program was designed and administered to five compulsive shoppers teaching self awareness, approach style-coping strategies and mood regulation techniques. The efficacy of the intervention programme was evaluated. Support was gained for the three hypotheses investigated.
Hl: Negative Mood: Compulsive shoppers will score higher on tests on anxiety, depression and stress and lower on tests evaluating self-efficacy.
H2: Avoidance Coping: Compulsive shoppers will utilise more avoidant-style and emotion focussed strategies to deal with life stressors.
H3: Augmented Improvement: Negative emotional states will decrease in frequency and/or intensity, and the frequency of shopping will decrease as the techniques teaching approach-style strategies are regularly applied by the participants.
At the completion of the intervention and at one-month follow-up all 5 participants had significantly reduced in their frequency of compulsive shopping and were no longer classified as compulsive shoppers by the Compulsive Buying Scale (Faber & O'Guinn, 1992). All participants improved their active-coping skills, and showed significant improvements in psychological tests measuring depression, anxiety, stress and general health. Qualitative data in the form of interviews and daily diaries gave further understanding of the antecedents and subjective experience of the participants, during and after a compulsive shop.