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The effect of religiosity, materialism and self-esteem on compulsive and impulsive buying behavior

Tariq Jalees (College of Management Science, Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan)
Sherbaz Khan (Department of Business Administration, Jinnah University for Women, Karachi, Pakistan)
Syed Imran Zaman (School of Economics and Management, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China and Department of Business Administration, Jinnah University for Women, Karachi, Pakistan, and)
Miao Miao (Business School, Yango University, Fuzhou, China)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 2 July 2024




This study aims to explore the global issues of impulse buying, compulsive purchasing and materialism. It examines how materialism relates to self-esteem and the tendencies for impulsive and compulsive buying. In addition, the study delves into the impact of religiosity on self-esteem and materialistic values in an Islamic country.


Enumerators visited universities, distributing 415 questionnaires and receiving 397 in return. Due to the unavailability of a sample frame for the target population, the study used nonprobability sampling for statistical analysis, which included assessments of normality, reliability, validity and bootstrapping for the structural model, the researchers used Smart PLS.


The study confirmed 13 hypotheses while rejecting four. The unsupported hypotheses are: (i) materialism negatively impacts impulsive purchasing behavior, (ii) impulsive purchasing does not mediate the relationship between materialism and compulsive purchasing, (iii) materialism does not mediate the relationship between religiosity and impulsive purchasing and (iv) in an Islamic country, neither materialism nor impulsive purchasing significantly mediates the relationship between religiosity and compulsive purchasing.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted in a city within a developing Islamic nation, focusing on college students. It suggests that future research could include more cities, a diverse population segments and multicultural perspectives. The research primarily examined the direct relationships between religiosity and factors such as self-esteem, materialism and impulsive purchasing. Future studies could explore religiosity as a mediating factor. This study highlights that materialism (M), impulsive buying (IB) and compulsive buying (CB) are not only closely interconnected but also adversely affect individual, family and societal well-being, raising global concerns. While occasional impulsive behavior is common among individuals in Islamic nations, repeated indulgences in the same behavior could lead to an obsession with excessive purchasing.

Practical implications

This study holds significant implications for consumers and retailers. Excessive and unnecessary spending can increase financial burden and adversely affect family welfare. Often, families and acquaintances inadvertently teach children to engage in extreme purchasing behaviors. To combat this, families and religious leaders should educate individuals about the detrimental effects of impulsive and compulsive purchasing. In addition, colleges and other institutions should organize seminars and workshops to address these issues. Retailers, whose sales largely depend on impulsive and compulsive consumers, should employ interpersonal influencers and brand advocates to connect with this customer segment effectively.


This study examined the relationship between religiosity, materialism, self-esteem and impulsive and compulsive purchasing behaviors. This study thoroughly tested 17 hypotheses, encompassing direct, mediating and multimediating relationships. The findings reveal that materialism’s impact on impulsive behavior is negligible compared to previous research, corroborating the findings presented in the cited literature.



This work was supported by Humanities and Social Sciences Project of the Ministry of Education (20YJC860006); Fujian Province Natural Science Foundation Project (022J01380); Fujian Province Social Science Foundation (FJ2022B088).


Jalees, T., Khan, S., Zaman, S.I. and Miao, M. (2024), "The effect of religiosity, materialism and self-esteem on compulsive and impulsive buying behavior", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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