Compulsive Shopping Behaviour and Executive Dysfunction in Young Adults

Tom Heffernan*, Colin Hamilton, Nick Neave

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


“Compulsive Shopping” is characterized by poorly controlled preoccupations/urges/behaviors focused on shopping and spending, causing significant distress/impairment. This study looked at what roles executive and related memory problems might exist in compulsive shopping. 205 adults completed on-line questionnaires measuring compulsive shopping, mood, as well as working memory and inhibition components of executive function. The Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale was used to assign participants to either a High Compulsive Shopping (HCS) group or Low Compulsive Shopping (LCS) group. Working memory (WM) and inhibition control (IC) were measured as two components of executive function (EF) using the Adult Executive Functioning Inventory (ADEXI), the Dysexecutive Questionnaire Revised (DEX-R) measured general EF. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale measured anxiety and depression. MANCOVA and mediation analyses were carried out controlling for age, gender, anxiety, depression. The HCS group scored significantly higher on all three EF measures, indicating greater executive difficulties. Subsequent mediation analyses with the ADEXI-IC as the mediator removed the significance of the relationship between Group and both the DEX-R and ADEXI-WM outcome variables. Thus, observed Group difference in DEX-R and ADEXI-WM could be fully accounted for by group differences in inhibitory control. The results highlight the role inhibitory control plays in compulsive shopping.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Neuropsychology: Adult
Early online date13 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2021


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