College students and financial distress: exploring debt, financial satisfaction, and financial anxiety



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The impact of financial concerns on overall mental health has become a popular topic among researchers and practitioners. In this exploratory study, possible associations of financial anxiety were explored using a sample of 180 college students who sought services at a university peer financial counseling center in a Midwestern state. Of particular interest was the influence of debt on student financial anxiety. To measure financial anxiety, a new scale was developed, the Financial Anxiety Scale (FAS), that can be used as a tool for financial planners, counselors, and educators to identify individuals who are experiencing increased levels of financial distress that may call for a referral to an appropriate professional. Results from two hierarchical regressions indicated that financial satisfaction, student loans, and gender are associated with financial anxiety.



Financial anxiety, Financial counseling, Financial satisfaction, Financial scale, Student debt