Study finds link between materialism and post-traumatic stress

A link between materialism and post-traumatic stress has been discovered by psychologists.

Researchers at Michigan State University believe that materialistic people are likely to have suffered a traumatic incident in the past - and that they spend compulsively in order to treat their anxiety.

They came to this conclusion by monitoring the behaviour of two sample groups from Israel. One was based in a city that had experienced terrorist attacks in the past. The other group lived in a city unaffected by these attacks.

According to, the group found that those who described themselves as materialistic were more likely to suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress and more likely to increase their spending habits as well.

The study could be of interest to counsellors and students on counselling courses, who can often benefit from discovering symptoms of mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ayalla Ruvio, who was one of the researchers involved in the study, concluded that compulsive shopping wasn't a healthy way to calm these fears.

Speaking to, she said: "When the going gets tough, the materialistic go shopping - and this compulsive and impulsive spending is likely to produce even greater stress and lower well-being. Essentially, materialism appears to make bad events even worse."