m7 - Compulsive Buying Behavior in College Students The Mediating Role of Credit Card Misuse Kay M Palan Paula C Morrow Allan Trapp II and Virginia

m7 - Compulsive Buying Behavior in College Students The...

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Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, vol. 19, no. 1 (winter 2011), pp. 81–96. © 2011 M.E. Sharpe, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN 1069-6679/2011 $9.50 + 0.00. DOI 10.2753/MTP1069-6679190105 Compulsive buying behavior, generally thought to be a chronic tendency to spend beyond one’s needs and means (Mittal et al. 2008), is increasingly recognized as a grow- ing problem among U.S. college students (Norum 2008; Roberts 1998; Wang and Xiao 2009) and consumers in gen- eral (Benson 2000). One of the primary factors attributed to this increase is that we live in a consumer culture that embraces materialism (Belk 1985; Chaplin and Roedder John 2007). The majority of Americans desire to consume and display goods that confer status and power and that fulfill pleasure-seeking needs (Belk 1988); college students are not immune from the desire to consume. Droge and Mackoy (1995) believe there is almost a universal aspiration among Americans to be a member of the consumer culture. Evidence of college students’ desire to consume is increased credit card use among that cohort, which has generated significant worry among educators, parents, and regulatory groups (Dickler 2008; Hook 2006; Mansfield and Pinto 2007). Bernthal, Crockett, and Rose (2005) describe credit cards as lifestyle facilitators, a tool that consumers use to manage and regulate their lifestyles, and college students’ access to credit through credit cards is unprecedented. Sallie Mae (2009), a national provider of savings and paying for college programs, reported that 23 percent of college fresh- men arrived on campus with credit cards in 2001 but that this percentage increased to 39 percent in 2008. The pro- vider further reported the average credit card debt among college students at $3,173 in 2008. Moreover, 82 percent did not pay off their credit card debt each month and thus incurred finance charges each month. Some of the credit card charges are related to attending college, such as books and supplies, and about 30 percent put tuition on their credit cards (Sallie Mae 2009). However, college students freely acknowledge that they use their credit cards to pay for discretionary items such as food away from home, en- tertainment, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco (Joo, Grable, and Bagwell 2003). In addition to credit card debt, four- year college graduates leave college with an average of just over $19,000 in college loan debt (Block 2006; Kantrowitz 2008). So, at a time when college graduates should be em- barking on new careers and entering the stage of life when they begin to create wealth, many are now saddled with burdensome debt loads that inhibit their ability to fully achieve economic independence. Moreover, these personal financial problems will be compounded for those students with compulsive buying tendencies—they potentially face not just credit card debt, but also depression, anxiety, and broken relationships (Roberts and Jones 2001).
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  • Fall '14
  • DeborahPembleton
  • Credit card, compulsive buying

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