New research conducted at Ohio State University indicates that 18 to 27 year olds feel empowered by their debt. The study found that a greater amount of education loan and credit card debt corresponded to higher self-esteem. Additionally, young people with high debt feel more in control of their lives. (Anand)
The study compared information about credit card and student loan debt with participants’ self-esteem and feelings about their ability to accomplish goals and control their lives. Lower income people were the most affected by their debt. Participants with the lowest income felt the most empowered, with higher debt corresponding to higher self-esteem. Young people in the middle class felt no effect from student loan debt, but experienced higher self esteem by holding more credit card debt. Participants with the highest income felt no self-esteem increase from either education or credit card debt. (ScienceDaily)
Researchers also found that at age 28 young people start to realize the consequences of their debt. At 28, study participants felt more stress about their debt, understood that they may have overestimated their future income, and realized paying off their debts would not be easy. (ScienceDaily)
Anika Anand, Young Adults Wear Their Debt Like a New Tattoo, https://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2011/06/08/6814827-young-adults-wear-their-debt-like-a-new-tattoo (accessed June 21, 2011).
What, Me Worry? Young Adults Get Self-Esteem Boost From Debt, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110606113401.htm (accessed June 21, 2011).