Beyond Shopaholism: A Socio-Cultural Examination of Compulsive Clothing Buying Behavior
The purpose of this study was to examine compulsive clothing buying behavior (CCB) within a socio-cultural context that encourages shopping and buying as coping strategies. In-depth interviews were conducted with a total of 20 participants in the US (16 females, 4 males) including six mental health providers, six individuals diagnosed as compulsive clothing buyers, and eight individuals at risk for the behavior. Responses were analyzed thematically by both authors. From this process, three core thematic areas emerged and were used to structure the interpretation. Findings in this study support and expand upon previous research suggesting that messages about consumption and its promotion within contemporary society hinder acceptance of the seriousness of CCB. Moreover, findings offer ways to improve identification of the disorder, and, in turn, to not only provide clarification of issues in research on the topic, but help mental health professionals better identify and treat CCB.