Materialism and Subjective Well-Being: An Examination of Mediated Models

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Cohn, Michael D.
Materialism; Well-being; Psychology
thesis / dissertation description
Materialism has been shown to have a consistent negative relationship with well-being; however, several studies have found variables that partially or completely mediated this relationship. The purposes of this study were to explore the ways in which materialism related with subjective well-being (SWB) and to understand how several mediating variables, including motivations for making money, experiential avoidance, and fear of negative evaluation, might explain the relationships observed. Results showed that materialism correlated with life satisfaction and negative affect, but not with positive affect. Hierarchical linear regressions indicated that materialism’s relationship with life satisfaction was mediated by experiential avoidance, and that materialism’s relationship with negative affect was mediated by fear of negative evaluation (FNE), experiential avoidance (EA), and negative motives for making money (overcoming self-doubt, and social comparison). Because the clinical nature of the two major mediating variables contrast with the general notion of materialism as a pervasive construct in modern life, the materialism construct may need to be broadened in scope.