Compulsive consumption and materialism are regarded as global phenomena that can potentially have adverse effects on consumer welfare. Recent developments in social sciences suggest that such phenomena may best be understood in the context of a consumer’s earlier-in-life experiences. This study aims to understand the effects of disruptive life events on materialism and compulsive consumption among adolescents. Using the life course paradigm, it is hypothesized that the development of these consumer orientations is influenced by life events experienced earlier-in-life. Surveys of young adults in the United States and Hong Kong are used to test the measurement equivalence of the main variables, and the hypotheses are tested using structural equation modeling. Results support the mediating role of peer communication in the relationship between experienced stressful disruptive life events and the young adults’ materialism and compulsive consumption orientations, and offer insights into the divergent effects of the mediating role of tangible and intangible family resources.


Baker, A. and Chan, K. (2020). The effects of life events on the development of materialism and compulsive consumption: A life course study in the United States and Hong Kong, Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science Special Issue,