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Childhood Trauma and Shopping Addiction as an Adult



Empirical evidence has shown that childhood trauma associates with several self-regulatory adulthood challenges or disorders. However, no study has pointed out a relationship between childhood traumas and shopping addiction in adults; this is according to extant literature. With the use of questionnaires to American Psychological Association staffs who have handled such disorders, the study intends to find to what extent children exposed to traumatic events end up becoming compulsive buyers. Statistical data analysis methods such as mean, median, and mode with the help of SPSS software will be used to analyze and decode the findings and present them in tables and charts.



Childhood Trauma and Shopping Addiction as an Adult

A trauma usually affects a person's emotions from a repetitive or singular event and results in severe psychological or physical harm. The victim becomes unable to move past it without relieving it; addiction of any kind can sometimes be the only remedy if not serious mental health or both. Many mental health issues today are linked with past experiences. Today, childhood trauma that happens when the child is innocently joyful and optimistic about life is linked to 60% of adult addictions in America (Odhayani, Watson, & Watson, 2013). The study by Odhayani et al. (2013), to justify the problem, further adds that identifying the traumatic cause and dealing with it is critical to treat the disorders. Similarly, shopping addiction is identified by individuals making unnecessary shopping cognitions and purchasing behavioral activities resulting from impairment or distress.

Problem Statement

According to Odhayani et al. (2013), 60% of Americans suffering from any addiction resulted from childhood trauma through teenage. Thus, a child's inner security and stability are essential, which will shortly be manifested outwardly through their behaviors.

According to Dayton (2019), childhood trauma can take different forms such as sexual or physical abuse, severe illness requiring hospitalization and even surgery, domestic violence, intense bullying, large-scale natural disaster, witnessing the traumatic event in a significant magnitude, and more. The forms steal away a child's sense of self, stability, and self-worth which often stay with the kid till adulthood.  The impact might prolong with the adult feeling guilt and shame, trouble controlling emotions, anger, depression, anxiety, and discontent. If a child to a considerable extent they might find it easy to compulsively buy to satisfy their tumult experience (Dayton 2019).

Lastly, much literature has not pointed out a correlation between a child's traumatic experiences with an adulthood shopping addiction. Therefore, this study tries to answer the question of the correlation between childhood traumas with an adulthood shopping addiction.

Importance of the research proposal

This study will add to the literature on childhood traumas, shopping addiction in adults, and their correlation. The research will thus form a foundation of reference on which future researchers will base their arguments on. The study will also help policymakers, and decision-makers add more research resources to the topic or adopt it.

Research Methods

Research design.

According to Shields and Rangaran (2013), the research design is a structure, plan, and examination strategy to conceive to acquire responses to research problems and questions. Descriptive research design, a sub-type of quantitative, will be used in this study. It is a research design method applied in cases where information is sought on the current status of a person or an object. It describes factors with regards to existing variable conditions found in a set position (Shields and Rangaran, 2013). In this study, descriptive design will be applied to conclude the association between childhood trauma and shopping addiction as adulthood.

Target participants.

The study targets to use both primary and secondary sources. The researcher intends to send questionnaires to the American Psychological Association (APA) via email for the primary data sources.

Sample size and procedure. The sampling plan designates the study sample sampling frame, unit, sample size, and sampling procedures. This sampling framework explain all population components from which the sample is picked (Cooper & Schindler, 2011).

APA has 500 staff according to, and the sample size will be determined using the formula provided by Brewer and Miller (2003) as shown below

n=N/1+N (α) 2


n=the sample size

N=the sample frame (population)

α=the margin of error (0.005)2

Table 3.2 Sampling frame (Author, 2021)                                        

Org. Name











Data Collection

Data sources. This study will involve the collection of both primary and secondary data. The preliminary data will involve using simple questions and answers sent to APA's staff via email upon request for their heads' permission. On the other hand, secondary data will be sourced from online libraries such as and

Data collection methods. The researcher intends to receive filled questionnaires from the APA's staff via email and process accordingly. Only data will be deemed to have been collected when key points are noted down quantitatively.

Data collection instruments. Both the semi and full-structured questions will be made to form the questionnaires used for this study. Information involving the anonymity of the respondent will not be collected.  The data will be collected using well developed, structured, and verified scale.  This is in addition to sourcing data that speaks of a correlation between childhood trauma and adulthood addiction from online sources.

Data Analysis

The data collected will be translated into easier ways for understanding. It will be edited, coded, and classified to facilitate statistical manipulation of the data and allow analysis systematically. Descriptive statistics like mean, standard deviations, and percentages will be used during the calculation. Also, the researcher intends to use SPSS software to analyze the data. SPSS software is a package designed for statistical, batched or interactive analysis. Version 27 of the 2020 release will be used.



Presentation of Findings

Finally, the data will be presented in tables, charts, and graphs after analysis. Detailed explanations will accompany the diagrams.

Research Questions

Since the eligibility of the answers given was very important, the answers given were required to meet certain parameters.

  1. Out of the patients, the patients' quantitative value a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptom scale has been carried out on. This method is to aid in the detection of disorders with reliability levels that go for two weeks.
  2. Out of the patients, the quantitative value of patients Traumatic Experience Inventory (TEI) screening has been carried on their results concerning their numbers. This method is a 14-item method used for screening traumatic eventualities in the life history of someone. TEI is preferred because of its inquisitive nature, like going into details to determine the frequency of traumatic events one by one and their magnitude.


Al Odhayani, A., Watson, W. J., & Watson, L. (2013). Behavioural consequences of child abuse. Canadian family physician59(8), 831-836.

Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2011). Qualitative research. Business research methods4(1), 160-182.

Dayton, T. (2019). The ACOA trauma syndrome: The impact of childhood pain on adult relationships. Health Communications, Inc.

Miller, R. L., & Brewer, J. D. (Eds.). (2003). The AZ of social research: A dictionary of key social science research concepts. Sage.




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