Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 117–135 | Cite as

Subjective Well-Being among Adolescent Consumers: The Effects of Materialism, Compulsive Buying, and Time Affluence

  • Chris ManolisEmail author
  • James A. Roberts


The burgeoning world-wide consumer culture brings with it certain baggage. Materialistic attitudes and compulsive buying have both been linked to lower levels of subjective well-being in consumers. Additionally, time is becoming an increasingly precious commodity as denizens of the consumer culture increase their work load and activities in an attempt to fully achieve the happiness promised by a lifestyle of consumption. The purpose of the present research is to investigate whether the negative impact of materialism and compulsive buying on well-being is moderated by a person’s perceived time affluence (the time one perceives he/she has available for life’s many activities). Using a large sample of adolescents (n = 1,329), the present study finds that (1) materialism and compulsive buying negatively impact subjective well-being, and that (2) time affluence moderates the relationship between materialism and compulsive buying and well-being. Specifically, perceptions of time affluence were found to negate the negative relationship between both materialism and SWB and compulsive buying and SWB. And (3), the present research appears to have uncovered a “sweet spot” when it comes to the influence of time affluence on the above relationships. Too little or too much time affluence was found to be associated with lower well-being. A simple slope analysis suggests that moderate levels of time affluence are most conducive to our well-being as consumers. In addition to discussing these findings, the authors also note certain limitations and offer directions for future research.


Time affluence Adolescents Subjective well-being Materialism Compulsive buying 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V./The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MarketingXavier University, Williams College of BusinessCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Marketing DepartmentBaylor University, Hankamer School of BusinessWacoUSA

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