The Relationship Between Compulsive Buying And Age Essay

Much of Research has not been found that focuses on the relationship between compulsive buying and age, however, there have been instances that propose, younger people are more affected by compulsive buying tendencies. Hence, today, compulsive buying is not only a concern in terms of rise in individuals being affected by it, but also affecting a section of consumers i.e. young consumers. Firstly, the larger number of studies which compare compulsive buyers with ordinary buyers reported that the average age of compulsive buyers is lower by between 8–11 years in France (Lejoyeux et al., 1997), Germany (Scherhorn et al., 1990), and the US (Hanley & Wilhelm, 1992; O’Guinn & Faber, 1989), however, few studies found a small (Lejoyeux, Haberman, Solomon, & Ade ́s, 1999) or no age differences (Black et al., 1998; DeSarbo & Edwards, 1996).

Reports from compulsive buyer samples give average ages between 30 and 31 years (Black, Monahan, Schlosser, & Repertinger, 2001; Schlosser et al., 1994), and studies that correlate age with scores on Compulsive buying scales consistently report negative links. Furthermore, a recent European Union project identified 46% of Scottish 16- to 18-year-olds as showing possible early tendencies towards uncontrolled buying, because they reported being unable to resist advertising stimuli and had a lack of control over their spending habits (Garce ́s Prieto, 2002). There is a possibility that the trend is short-lived in juvenile lives, so that they could review their developmental needs to either explore consumer activities or to establish an independent, adult identity, be it through through material goods (if available). However, there is chance of them reflecting cohort effects, and research showcases links between first, overspending and compulsive buying, second, increasing debt levels in younger people on the other. Even though there are multiple causes for overspending, a social scientific analysis documents reveals that there is increase in both overspending and compulsive buying during the last two decades simentanoulsly (Lee & Mysyk, 2004), to support more of research, a UK-based interview study with 36 households in severe debt revealed that 20% fitted a compulsive buying profile (Elliott, 2005).

Simentaneously, younger people have been shown to have stronger pro-debt attitudes (e.g. Lea & Webley, 1995; Lunt & Livingstone, 1992), as well as higher levels of debt. In the UK, personal debt is increasing by £1 million every 4 minutes and over 60% of insolvency cases involve young people aged under 30 (Credit Action, 2005); similarly, US bankruptcy judges state that overwhelming credit card debt often afflicts young consumers (Newsletter of the Federal Courts, 2004). Combining these findings and arguments together, it is therefore found that younger respondents are more prone to compulsive buying than older respondents, which makes it important to sample across a wide age range, including adolescents and does advertising effect more on younger generation (i.e. as per Indian demographics) than older generation. Moreover, the question arises whether these expected age differences may be linked to the increasingly more materialistic value orientation that characterizes both North America and Europe (e.g. Kasser & Kanner, 2004).

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