It’s not uncommon to hear that “money can’t buy happiness.” However, other people might feel differently. Indeed, for some people, money and “material” goods can be very important.

What Is Materialism?

A materialistic person is someone who will attach great importance to “material” objects. Being materialistic is a personality trait that encompasses many others, such as possessiveness, lack of generosity, and envy. A materialistic person will tend to fixate on what they don’t have.

Here are examples of behavior exhibited by materialistic people:

  • Compulsive buying
  • Never being satisfied with what they have
  • Being stingy
  • Spending and never saving
  • Getting into debt
  • Not having enough space to keep all their belongings
  • Not wanting to give away an object.

How can a Child or a Teenager Become Materialistic?

During adolescence, young people can be susceptible to the pressures of fashion or to the influence of the world that surrounds them.

Children and teenagers are exposed to tabloids, and with tabloids come celebrities. Indeed, they might want to follow their idols’ example by wearing the same clothes as them and often, the wardrobe is what ends up being expensive.

Wearing the latest trends can also be motivated by the desire to be liked. Not only to like themselves, but more importantly, to be liked by others, mainly to be included in a group of friends.

It’s not only clothes that children and teenager want to have, it could also be cellphones. Indeed, to be like everyone else and have the latest trendy cellphone can be expensive.

According to a study about fashion consumption among teenagers, a teen builds their identity according to two criteria:

  • Their personal and social identity
  • Their physical appearance and self-esteem

Consequences of Materialism on Personal Development

There can be many signs among children or teens that can show that they are too “spoiled”:

  • They cannot accept when they’re told “no”
  • They think of only themselves, saying “me, me, me”
  • They can become very capricious
  • They can be sore losers

Some youths can also become superficial. They might fall into a circle of privileged “friends” and end up going out with them and spending without thought.

Greatest dangers: Some are willing to do anything to get what they want. Indeed, dressing fashionably or having the latest cellphone can quickly turn into an obsession. To support themselves, young people can turn to theft, sometimes even to prostitution.

Sometimes, young girls risk falling into the traps of a pimp who can offer them anything, but these gifts often come with a price.