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Attitudes to debt among indebted undergraduates: A cross-national exploratory factor analysis

Neil Harrison, Steve Agnew and Joyce Serido

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2015, vol. 46, issue C, 62-73

Abstract: This paper reports the results of a cross-national study spanning England, New Zealand and the United States. A total of 496 first year undergraduates studying business or social science completed a 20-item questionnaire. This focused on their attitudes to their debt incurred while studying, as measured on a five-point Likert scale. A factor analysis model was developed, from which four consistent factors emerged, explaining 45 percent of the variation and consistent between countries. These factors were named: Anxiety, Utility-For-Lifestyle, Utility-For-Investment and Awareness. The first three factors were found to be uncorrelated with each other, but higher Awareness was associated with lower levels of Anxiety and Utility-For-Lifestyle and higher levels of Utility-For-Investment. The relationship with previous studies and implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Keywords: Debt attitudes; Factor analysis; Higher education; Consumer attitudes and behaviour; Educational finance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:46:y:2015:i:c:p:62-73

DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2014.11.005

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