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01-10-2012 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2012

Cognitive Therapy and Research 5/2012

Impulsivity, Emotion Regulation, and Mindful Attentional Focus in Compulsive Buying

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 5/2012
Alishia D. Williams, Jessica R. Grisham


The aims of the current study were to explore the relationship between compulsive buying (CB) and impulsivity, and to investigate the proposal that emotion regulation deficits and mindful attentional awareness may also play a role in maladaptive buying behaviours. In a community-recruited sample of 49 compulsive buyers with a mean age of 29.02 (SD = 11.24) and 37 healthy controls with a mean age of 25.61 (SD = 7.38) CB was significantly related to several domains of impulsivity and emotion regulation deficits. Furthermore, CB was associated with less dispositional mindful attentional focus, which was in turn associated with specific emotion regulation deficits. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANCOVA) controlling for general psychopathology supported significant group differences in all outcome measures, with the exception of difficulties engaging in goal-directed behaviour. Taken together, the findings suggest that CB is characterized by impulsivity, but that emotional vulnerabilities and poor regulatory processes may also play a role in either the development or maintenance of CB. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

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