This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Impact of International Students’ Adjustment Strains on Self-esteem, Happiness, and Engagement in Compulsive Online Buying




Lou, Yana

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Consumer and Design Sciences


This study examined the extent to which various adjustment strains faced by international students reduce self-esteem and happiness, as well as how these factors impact engagement in compulsive online buying. The online survey was distributed to international students at Auburn University and 146 responses were used for the analysis. Among the four adjustment strains, personal and social strains significantly reduced self-esteem, and language and personal strains led to unhappiness. The social competence dimension of self-esteem positively affected happiness. Social strains directly and positively affected compulsive online buying. The social expression confidence dimension of self-esteem negatively affected compulsive online buying. This study contributes to the literature by investigating the underlying psychological mechanism of spending behavior driven by international students’ adjustment strains. These findings provide implications for helping international students better adjust to the U.S. culture and for preventing any psychological impairment or compulsive spending behavior.