Relationships that compulsive buying has with addiction, obsessive-compulsiveness, hoarding, and depression

Lee Lawrence, Joseph Ciorciari, Michael Kyrios

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    Background and objectives Compulsive buying has been associated with addiction, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as hoarding. The present study investigated the relationship that compulsive buying (CB) has with 'addictive' (i.e., sensitivity to reward), obsessive-compulsive, and depressive phenomena, after controlling for hoarding, substance dependence, manic, and Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms. Methods 87 participants from a community population completed the online questionnaires for the study, however 70 participants (M = 29.19, SD = 10.45; 70% were female) were used in the analyses because of exclusion criteria. Results As expected, CB measures correlated with hoarding, depression, sensitivity to reward, and, but less so, obsessive-compulsive measures. Sensitivity to reward was the most important predictor of CB severity, compared to obsessive-compulsive and depression symptoms. Hoarding was also an important predictor of CB severity. Limitations Small sample size meant gender comparisons could not be made, and the use of a novel, communicated questionnaire meant that interpretation should be considered conservatively. Conclusions Overall, findings suggest that CB may be most closely related to the phenomena associated with addiction (an increased sensitivity to reward), rather than obsessive-compulsive or depression symptoms. Hoarding and reward sensitivity perhaps might separate compulsive buying from ordinary and recreational shopping.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1137-1145
    Number of pages9
    JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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