The Daily Galaxy reports on the inverse relationship between self-esteem and materialism:
Researchers have found that low self-esteem and materialism are not just a correlation, but also a causal relationship where low self esteem increases materialism, and materialism can also create low self-esteem. The also found that as self esteem increases, materialism decreases. . . . The paradox that findings such as these bring up, is that consumerism is good for the economy but bad for the individual.
The study announcing this finding was by Lan Nguyen Chaplin (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Deborah Roedder John (University of Minnesota), to appear in the Journal of Consumer Research.