Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The psychology of money and possessions: Understanding relationships among adult attachment, states of mind and discrepancies in materialistic values and choices
by Scotti, Susana, Ph.D., City University of New York, 2012, 335; 3549144
Abstract (Summary)

The present study sought to add to a small body of research examining materialism from a psychological perspective by looking at the relationship between adult attachment style and materialism. The current study sought to replicate and extend previous research indicating that attachment style is predictive of both materialistic traits and values (Kosmicki, 2002). Individual differences on an attachment measure were correlated with ratings of materialism and of life satisfaction. Attachment was measured with the Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory (ECR). Materialism was measured using the Aspirations Index, the Richins-Dawson Materialism scale and the Ger Belk Materialism Scale. Satisfaction with Life was assessed with the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Further, an important feature of this study that differentiated it from previous research was the use of a Q-sort measure developed for the parent project. To better understand the states of mind that lead people to choose materialistic values, subjects' responses on a Q-sort measure gauging a broad range of items and things people can value were examined. Independent samples T-tests, multiple regression, multivariate analyses of variance, and zero order correlations were run to test relationships.

Results only partially replicated previous findings (Kosmicki, 2002). The Insecure attachment category was significantly associated with lower scores on the trait measure of materialism, but not the value measures. Also, the dimensions of attachment Avoidance and attachment Anxiety did not significantly predict materialism. In terms of states of mind related to materialism, despite some notable variations, Q-sort items showed that the groups were remarkably similar. Social desirability factors might have affected these results. Examining discrepancies between the Good Life Q-sort and the Actual Life Q-sort revealed that higher discrepancy scores correlated with higher levels of materialism and higher dissatisfaction with life, and that the Securely attached categorical group had lower Discrepancy scores. The complex relationships found between attachment style, materialism, and discrepancies suggest further research is necessary to determine how individual differences factors, such as adult attachment style, personality style and psychopathology (independently and in combination with contextual, socio-cultural variables) relate to materialism and life satisfaction.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wachtel, Paul
Commitee: Diamond, Diana, Fraenkel, Peter, Jurist, Elliot, Tuber, Steve
School: City University of New York
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Attachment styles, Materialism
Publication Number: 3549144
ISBN: 9781267853585
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