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      Compulsive buying among young consumers in Eastern Europe: a two-study approach to scale adaptation and validation

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      Journal of Consumer Marketing
      Emerald

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          Although much research focuses on the compulsive buying behavior theory, little attention has been paid to evaluation and diagnosis of compulsive buying in Eastern Europe. This is surprising, given an increasing prevalence of consumerism in many transitioning economies. Young consumers are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to adapt the Richmond Compulsive Buying Scale to the Eastern European, specifically Polish cultural and language environment, and to validate it within a group of young Polish consumers, as well to assess the compulsive buying prevalence and the relationship between the compulsive buying and its precursors.

          Design/methodology/approach

          The Richmond Compulsive Buying Scale was selected for adaptation to the Polish context as it represents one of the best methodological and substantive compulsive buying measures in literature. The research is composed of two studies. Study 1 uses an in-person survey of young consumers ( N = 504). A wide range of statistical procedures and latent variable modeling was used in the analysis. Study 2 ( N = 756) uses an online survey to evaluate the correlation and relationship between the compulsive buying measure and its precursors, including consumers’ traits and states, by implementing a multiple indicators and multiple causes model.

          Findings

          The results of the two studies confirm that the adapted scale represents a valid and reliable measure of compulsive buying tendency in Poland, with the identified incidence rate of compulsive buying among Polish young consumers ranging from 11% in Study 1 to 11.6% in Study 2. In comparison with the results of other studies using the same measure, the current research findings reveal a similarity with the compulsive buying prevalence in China (10.4%; He et al., 2018), Brazil (9.8%; Leite et al., 2013) and slightly exceed the level found in western societies (e.g. 8.9% in the USA; Ridgway et al., 2008). The results of Study 2 indicate that compulsive buying in Poland is induced by low self-esteem and high levels of materialism, depression, anxiety, stress and negative feelings.

          Research limitations/implications

          The present research offers a methodological and substantive contribution by adapting and testing the original version of the Richmond Compulsive Buying Scale within an Eastern European transitional market; specifically Poland. In addition, the study offers an empirical contribution to the international research on compulsive behavior, including its precursors, as seen in young consumers.

          Practical implications

          This research offers important public policy implications and highlights ethical implications for business organizations. In particular, the findings of this study offer suggestions for enhancing policies and processes of programing appropriate social and educational campaigns that can save young consumers from the negative consequences of compulsive buying.

          Originality/value

          The transitional status of the Polish economy and other Eastern European countries has given rise to compulsive buying behavior, especially among young consumers. This emerging consumer behavior trend in Eastern Europe is still underexplored and underreported; hence, there exists a strong need for exploring and measuring such behavior across different Eastern European markets.

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          Most cited references64

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          The structure of negative emotional states: Comparison of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) with the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories

          The psychometric properties of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) were evaluated in a normal sample of N = 717 who were also administered the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). The DASS was shown to possess satisfactory psychometric properties, and the factor structure was substantiated both by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. In comparison to the BDI and BAI, the DASS scales showed greater separation in factor loadings. The DASS Anxiety scale correlated 0.81 with the BAI, and the DASS Depression scale correlated 0.74 with the BDI. Factor analyses suggested that the BDI differs from the DASS Depression scale primarily in that the BDI includes items such as weight loss, insomnia, somatic preoccupation and irritability, which fail to discriminate between depression and other affective states. The factor structure of the combined BDI and BAI items was virtually identical to that reported by Beck for a sample of diagnosed depressed and anxious patients, supporting the view that these clinical states are more severe expressions of the same states that may be discerned in normals. Implications of the results for the conceptualisation of depression, anxiety and tension/stress are considered, and the utility of the DASS scales in discriminating between these constructs is discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Consumer Marketing
                JCM
                Emerald
                0736-3761
                0736-3761
                January 14 2022
                February 09 2022
                January 14 2022
                February 09 2022
                : 39
                : 1
                : 106-120
                Article
                10.1108/JCM-05-2020-3833
                fddc75d5-2b4e-46da-b69c-4596293c3489
                © 2022

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