Depression and consumption habits: a cross-cultural study

Purpose This paper aims to explore the interplay between consumption and depression through a cross-cultural study conducted in Brazil and Germany. Design/methodology/approach Data collection was conducted through an online survey. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to assess depression levels from a sample of 1,627 respondents (759 Germans and 868 Brazilians). Descriptive statistics, multiple linear regression and Mann–Whitney U tests were applied. Findings Cultural characteristics are relevant in the consumption-depression interplay. The authors identified marketplace resources and stressors consisting of products categories that influence the depression level of the depressed consumer. Additionally, individuals with some level of depression presented different consumption habits than those without. A table summarizing the findings is presented at the end of the paper. Research limitations/implications Work limitations refer to the consumption categories analyzed and the large share of students in the sample. Practical implications Marketplace measures have an active role in mitigating or increasing depression levels. Thus, consumption can also be used as a transformative tool to benefit the lives of depressive individuals. Some suggestions are presented. Social implications This study contributes to the discussion that consumption impacts the daily lives of people with depression and provides recommendations on how to adapt consumption habits to help depressive individuals optimize their quality of life and well-being. Originality/value This paper contributes empirically and theoretically to the discussion of mental health and consumption and introduces innovative consumption categories (from daily life) that are incipient in previous literature.


depression  consumption  marketing  culture  cross-cultural  consumer behavior  mental health 


Daniela Gomes Alcoforado, Francisco Vicente Sales Melo, and Alcoforado Gomes Alcoforado (2022). Depression and consumption habits: a cross-cultural study. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 39(6), Pages 621-631.



Daniela Gomes Alcoforado
Francisco Vicente Sales Melo
Alcoforado Gomes Alcoforado

Journal of Consumer Marketing | 2022

Share Publication

Engage with Us

TCR creates opportunities for engagements between practitioners, funders and researchers, and supports efforts of scholars and practitioners to disseminate and publicize their research and work, and obtain mentoring and advice on grant applications.

While many of these opportunities are freely available, we encourage scholars and practitioners to become a member of the Association of Consumer Research to help continue funding our work and to obtain additional benefits.