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In the past few years, as a byproduct of economic expansion, compulsive buying has become increasingly prevalent among young Chinese consumers. However, relevant research, especially the studies that examine the effects of stressful life events on compulsive buying based on the life course paradigm, has been limited. Built upon human capital theory, stress theory and socialization theory, this study investigates the impact of difficulties with schoolwork that individuals experienced during adolescence on their compulsive buying behavior as young adults. The results indicate that adolescents, especially female adolescents who experienced difficulties with schoolwork, tend to exhibit stronger compulsive buying behavior in their adulthood. Perceived stress and peer communication about consumption mediate the link between difficulties with schoolwork and compulsive buying behavior, respectively. Socio-oriented family communication patterns moderate the relationship between difficulties with schoolwork and perceived stress. The results provide managerial implications for marketers and preventive implications for individuals.
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