ERIC Number: EJ680963
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb
Reference Count: 18
Student Debt and Its Relation to Student Mental Health
Cooke, Richard; Barkham, Michael; Audin, Kerry; Bradley, Margaret; Davy, John
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v28 n1 p53-66 Feb 2004
The present paper provides an analysis of the relationship between attitudes toward debt and mental health among university undergraduates. Data were collected from the same cohort of students across their three years of university, with responses from 2146, 1360 and 1391 first, second and third year students, respectively. Mental health was measured using the General Population version of the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (GP-CORE). Attitudes toward debt were measured using items that tapped current financial concerns and worry about debt on leaving university. Results showed that students become more concerned about their finances as they progress through university, that there was no relationship between anticipated debt and mental health and that attitudes toward debt were related to mental health levels. Students who were identified as having high financial concerns possessed significantly worse CORE-GP scores than students with low financial concern in all three years of university. In all three years students with high financial concerns felt more 'tense, anxious or nervous', more 'criticised by other people' and found it more 'difficult getting to sleep or staying asleep' than students with low financial concerns. There was also evidence that students with high worry about their debt anticipated leaving university with higher amounts of debt than low debt worry students. These findings are discussed in relation to the pattern of increased student debt in UK higher education.
Descriptors: Mental Health, Debt (Financial), Paying for College, Student Attitudes, Undergraduate Students, Measures (Individuals), Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Anxiety
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A