Materialist values, financial and pro-environmental behaviors, and well-being

Sabrina V Helm, Joyce Serido, Sun Young Ahn, Victoria Ligon, Soyeon Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine young consumers’ financial behavior (e.g. saving) and pro-environmental behavior (i.e. reduced consumption and green buying) as effective proactive strategies undertaken in the present to satisfy materialistic values and maximize well-being. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on an online survey among a panel of young American adults (N = 968). Findings: The study finds a positive effect of materialism on personal well-being and negative effects on financial satisfaction, proactive financial coping and reduced consumption, but no effect on green buying, a separate and distinct pro-environmental strategy. Both proactive financial coping and reduced consumption are positively associated with subjective well-being. Research limitations/implications: Future research should re-examine conceptualizations of materialism in the context of climate change and the meaning of possessions in the global digital economy; studies could also focus on the specific well-being effects of reduced consumption and alternative pathways to align materialistic and environmental values. Practical implications: Consumer education should look to models of financial education to demonstrate how limited natural resources can be managed at the micro level to enhance consumers’ subjective well-being, as well as reduce resource strain at the macro level. Originality/value: Key contributions are the examination of materialism and consumption in the dual contexts of financial and environmental resource constraints and the effects of these key macro-social phenomena on consumers’ perceived well-being. Another study highlight is the differentiation of two strategies for proactive environmental coping, of which only one, reduced consumption, increased personal well-being and decreased psychological distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalYoung Consumers
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

environmental behavior
well-being
materialism
Values
coping
consumer education
macro level
Pro-environmental behavior
Well-being
micro level
online survey
possession
resources
natural resources
climate change
examination
economy
present
methodology
Materialism

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Environmental coping
  • Materialism
  • Proactive financial coping
  • Subjective well-being
  • Sustainable consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Materialist values, financial and pro-environmental behaviors, and well-being. / Helm, Sabrina V; Serido, Joyce; Ahn, Sun Young; Ligon, Victoria; Shim, Soyeon.

In: Young Consumers, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Helm, Sabrina V ; Serido, Joyce ; Ahn, Sun Young ; Ligon, Victoria ; Shim, Soyeon. / Materialist values, financial and pro-environmental behaviors, and well-being. In: Young Consumers. 2019.
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