Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marketing (Business Administration)

First Advisor

Richard G. Netemeyer


Interest in dysfunctional consumption behaviors, such as compulsive buying, is a fairly recent development in the marketing literature. The purpose of this dissertation was to develop and test a theoretical model of the structural relationships among potential antecedents of compulsive buying behavior. In this dissertation, an extensive literature review identified several key constructs in the development of compulsive buying. These constructs include a family environment factor (parental influence), obsessive-compulsive trait, trait self-esteem, generalized anxiety, impulsive behavior, and anxiety reduction through shopping motivations. Seven studies were performed, including pretest and final studies with national non-student samples. Using LISREL, a structural model was estimated. The results indicated the obsessive-compulsive trait and self-esteem were strong predictors of anxiety which, in turn, predicted compulsive buying directly and via impulsive behavior and shopping motivations. The parental influence construct was found to be a direct predictor of compulsive buying, as well as an indirect predictor through the shopping motivations construct. Shopping motivations and impulsive behavior were also strong predictors of compulsive buying. These results suggest that individuals who experience anxiety may be at risk for developing compulsive buying behaviors if they view shopping as a means to reducing that anxiety.