Quality of life and psychiatric work impairment in compulsive buying: increased symptom severity as a function of acquisition behaviours

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The aims of the current study were to determine if compulsive acquisition behaviours are meaningfully related to quality of life and psychiatric work impairment and to determine if compulsive buyers who engage in two forms of acquisition (buying and excessive acquisition of free items) are more impaired than individuals who only engage in one form of acquisition. In a community-recruited sample, analysis of covariance conducted between groups identified as non-compulsive buyers (NCB; n = 30), compulsive buyers who did not acquire free items (CBB; n = 30), and compulsive buyers who also acquired free items (CBF; n = 35) revealed that both acquisition groups reported higher levels of depression and stress, and lower quality of psychological well-being than the NCB group, despite a comparable number of individuals self-reporting a current mental health disorder in each group. The CBF group reported higher levels of anxiety and general distress, as well as greater work inefficiency days compared to the NCB and CBB groups. Furthermore, regression analyses supported the unique contribution of acquisition of free items to the prediction of psychiatric work impairment. Taken together, the findings highlight the serious impact of compulsive buying on work functioning, general quality of life, and psychological well-being and provide avenues for future research to investigate the role of acquisition of free items in symptom severity. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
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Williams, Alishia
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Journal Article
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UNSW Faculty
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