First-of-its-kind Study Shows How Parental Debt Affects Children

January 29, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A new study conducted by Lawrence M. Berger, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, revealed a direct correlation between certain types of parental debt and children’s social and emotional well-being. The study used data from 9,011 families from 1986 to 2008. To track behavior problems, researchers used scores from the Behavior Problems Index responses filled out by the children’s parents either every year or every two years.

The study has shed new light on the link between debt and family well-being, as previous research on debt has focused on how debt affects the mental health and well-being of adults. The findings revealed that families with large amounts of debt often have children who struggle with behavioral problems.

However, not all types of debt were linked to children with behavioral problems. For example, the data showed that parents whose debt was from a mortgage or a student loan were less likely to have children with behavioral problems than those with unsecured debt. Unsecured debt is debt such as credit card debt, medical debt or a payday loan that is not secured by assets.

Researchers said debt that can help improve your social status in life is less likely to cause parents stress and anxiety. Unsecured debt that is not tied to an investment has a greater likelihood of causing stress to parents, which in turn, can have a negative impact on their parenting.

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