View Full Version : What, me worry? Young adults get self-esteem boost from debt

06-08-2011, 12:04 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio Instead of feeling stressed by the money they owe, many young adults actually feel empowered by their credit card and education debts, according to a new nationwide study.

Researchers found that the more credit card and college loan debt held by young adults aged 18 to 27, the higher their self-esteem and the more they felt like they were in control of their lives. The effect was strongest among those in the lowest economic class.

Only the oldest of those studied those aged 28 to 34 began showing signs of stress about the money they owed.

"Debt can be a good thing for young people it can help them achieve goals that they couldn't otherwise, like a college education," said Rachel Dwyer, lead author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University.

But the results offer some worrying signs about how many young people view debt, she added.

"Debt can be a positive resource for young adults, but it comes with some significant dangers," Dwyer said.

"Young people seem to view debt mostly in just positive terms rather than as a potential burden."

Dwyer conducted the study with Randy Hodson, professor of sociology at Ohio State, and Laura McCloud, an Ohio State graduate now at Pacific Lutheran University.

The findings appear in a recent issue of the journal Social Science Research. ...link (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-06/osu-wmw060611.php)
Young adults will soon be getting a nasty shock. :(

06-08-2011, 12:11 PM
I didn't see anything about causality there, only correlation. I would contend that people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who have the ability to accrue large debt did so by overcoming difficult odds to get a good education and the income necessary to get high level credit cards and those achievements are what cause the high self-esteem.

06-08-2011, 12:14 PM
The effect was strongest among those in the lowest economic class.

Basically, this is a code for saying that the least well educated graduates with the poorest math skills felt good about being in debt.

These are the same people who will be doing rent-to-own in 5 years while they make the minimum payments on that pizza charge they made 7 years ago.

06-08-2011, 06:11 PM
I worked for a company once who provided me with a gold America Express card.
I was using it one day, and the young guy next to me saw it and said, "Man, I can hardly wait until I get one of those."

I wonder how he made out; and what he would say today.............:confused:

06-09-2011, 09:56 AM
Credit card debt gives them something in common with their parents, at least.

It might be kind of related to that, though. The college students see having bills as a sign of their adulthood and independence.