Kashdan & Breen, 2007 - Materialism and Diminished Well-Being: Experiential Avoidance as a Mediating Mechanism

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APA Citation: 

Kashdan, T. B., & Breen, W. E. (2007). Materialism and diminished well-being: Experiential avoidance as a mediating mechanism. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 521-539.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Other Third-Wave Therapies: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
experiential avoidance, social anxiety, depression, positive affect, negative affect, gratitude, meaning in life, happiness
Abstract: 

Being preoccupied with the pursuit of money, wealth, and material possessions arguably fails as a strategy to increase pleasure and meaning in life. However, little is known about the mechanisms that explain the inverse relation between materialism and well-being. The current study tested the hypothesis that experiential avoidance mediates associations between materialistic values and diminished emotional well-being, meaning in life, self-determination, and gratitude. Results indicated that people with stronger materialistic values reported more negative emotions and less relatedness, autonomy, competence, gratitude, and meaning in life. As expected, experiential avoidance fully mediated all associations between materialistic values and each dimension of well-being. Emotional disturbances such as social anxiety and depressive symptoms failed to account for these findings after accounting for shared variance with experiential avoidance. The results are discussed in the context of alternative, more fulfilling routes to well-being.

Comments: 
This correlational study examined the hypothesis that experiential avoidance mediates associations between excessively materialistic values and diminished emotional well-being, meaning in life, self-determination, and gratitude. Results indicated that people with high materialistic values reported more negative emotions and less relatedness, autonomy, competence, gratitude, positive emotions, and sense of meaning – all of these relations were mediated by experiential avoidance mediated all of these relations. Emotional disturbances such as social anxiety and depressive symptoms failed to account for these findings after accounting for shared variance with experiential avoidance.
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