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.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited.
- Climate change
- Environmental coping
- Proactive financial coping
- Subjective well-being
- Sustainable consumption