Prevalence and construct validity of compulsive buying disorder in shopping mall visitors

Aniko Maraz, Wim van den Brink, Zsolt Demetrovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Compulsive buying is a relatively new psychopathological concept and very few data are currently available regarding the prevalence and validity of compulsive buying disorder. In this cross-sectional study, we establish the prevalence of compulsive buying disorder in shopping mall visitors and explore the construct validity of the concept using the revised version of the Edwards Compulsive Buying Scale in 1441 shopping mall visitors looking at shopping habits, current substance use (smoking, alcohol and illicit drug) and various psychological characteristics. Overall, 8.7% (95% CI: 7.3-10.3) of our sample was classified as having a compulsive buying disorder. Compulsive buyers were younger, less educated and more likely to be female than non-compulsive buyers. They were also more likely to have used licit and illicit substances. Compulsive buyers also reported higher levels of impulsivity and obsessive-compulsive symptoms, lower levels of well-being and self-esteem and more psychological distress. Finally, compulsive buyers were five times more likely to meet criteria for borderline personality disorder than non-compulsive buyers. Compulsive buying is a frequent disorder in shopping mall visitors and is associated with important and robust indicators of psychopathology thus supporting the validity of the construct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-924
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 30 2015


  • Behavioural addiction
  • Compulsive shopping
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Prevalence
  • Shopping addiction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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