The Pathological Buying Screener : Development and Psychometric Properties of a New Screening Instrument for the Assessment of Pathological Buying Symptoms

The study was designed to develop a new screening instrument for pathological buying (PB), and to examine its psychometric properties in a large-scale sample. By using a facet theoretical approach and based on literature as well as on clinical experience, a 20-item Pathological Buying Screener (PBS) was developed and administered to a representative German sample (n = 2,539). Valid data were available from 2,403 participants who were subjects for three subsequent empirical studies. The first study explored the factor structure using exploratory factor analyses in a subsample of 498 participants. Based on factor loadings, a 13-item version with the two factors loss of control / consequences and excessive buying behavior was revealed. This two-factor model was confirmed in study 2 by confirmatory factor analysis performed on another subsample (n = 1,905). Study 3 investigated age and gender effects and convergent validity of the PBS using the Compulsive Buying Scale (CBS) in the full sample (N = 2,403). The total PBS score was adequately correlated with the CBS score. Hierarchical regression analyses with the CBS score as the dependent variable and the two PBS factors as the predictors indicated an own incremental validity of the two factors in participants ≤ 65 years. The reliability of the total score as well as of the two subscales was good to excellent. Overall, the PBS represents a useful measure for PB. Future studies are needed to replicate the two-factor structure in clinical samples and to define a valid cutoff for PB.


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