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Family Structure, Materialism, and Compulsive Consumption


  • Rindfleisch, Aric
  • Burroughs, James E
  • Denton, Frank


Despite the rapid and dramatic changes in the structure of the American family over the past thirty years (e.g., divorce, single parenting), consumer researchers have largely neglected the issue of how alternative family forms influence consumer behavior. The authors' initial inquiry into this area finds that young adults reared in disrupted families are more materialistic and exhibit higher levels of compulsive consumption than young adults reared in intact families. Furthermore, they show that the relationship between family structure and compulsive consumption is partially mediated by both the amount of resources available within the family and the degree of family stress. The authors also find that the impact of family disruption on family stress is moderated by socioeconomic status. They conclude by proposing an agenda for future research that considers the antecedents, processes, and consequences of alternative family structures as they relate to consumer behavior. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Rindfleisch, Aric & Burroughs, James E & Denton, Frank, 1997. " Family Structure, Materialism, and Compulsive Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 312-325, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:23:y:1997:i:4:p:312-25

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