A study investigating the association between compulsive buying with measures of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behavior among internet shoppers (2014)

Compr Psychiatry. 2014 Nov 6. pii: S0010-440X(14)00314-9. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.11.003.

Weinstein A1, Mezig H2, Mizrachi S2, Lejoyeux M3.



Compulsive buying is a chronic, repetitive behavior that becomes a primary response to negative events and feelings. Compulsive buyers are obsessed by buying and their behavior occurs in response to negative emotions and results in a decrease in the intensity of negative emotions. Euphoria or relief from negative emotions is the most common consequence of compulsive buying. A large number of studies have investigated the association between compulsive buying and anxiety, and some studies have used the Spielberger trait-state anxiety inventory.


Compulsive buying, state and trait anxiety and general obsessive-compulsive measures were assessed among 120 habitual internet shoppers (2+ times a week, 70 men and 50 women).


Results showed that Edwards Compulsive Buying scale measures were associated with Spielberger trait and not state anxiety measures. Spielberger Trait anxiety measures were also correlated with measures of Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive scale (Y-Bocs). Finally, there were no sex differences in this sample.


The results of this study support existing evidence for an association between compulsive buying and anxiety and they will be discussed in view of current research on comorbidity of behavioural addiction.