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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Brenda J. Cude

Subject Area

Social Sciences

Abstract

College student debt has gained much attention. This article uses survey data to examine the influence of psychological factors on college student attitudes toward debt. In the sample of 283 undergraduates enrolled in a personal finance elective course, financial self-confidence was significantly related to debt attitude, indicating that less financially self-confident students tended to have more positive attitudes toward debt. Two other psychological factors, ability to delay gratification and comparing oneself to others, were not significantly related to debt attitudes. Among the control variables, only gender was significantly related; women had more negative attitudes toward debt than men. College major, involvement with parents about personal finance, and financial knowledge were not significantly related to student attitudes toward debt. Future researchers should consider reexamining the use of the scales used in this research. Although the scales had been used by previous researchers, they may have less relevance to young adults whose debt attitudes were no doubt influenced by the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Keywords

college, students, debt, attitudes, personal finance, financial knowledge

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