First-of-its-kind Study Finds Parental Debt Affects Children’s Socioemotional Well-being


First-of-its-kind Study Finds Parental Debt Affects Children’s Socioemotional Well-being

According to the results, children who experienced parents with higher degrees of home mortgage and student debt had a larger socioemotional well-being with fewer behavioral problems than children whose parents have less home loan and student loan debts. The results show that children may reap the benefits of an environment in which their parents own a home and/or have higher degrees of education. Houle records, ‘Most of the time in the cultural sciences, for another question such as this, we’ll use survey data and statistical analyses to make evaluations.

If we’re interested in how debts is associated with child well-being, we’ll compare children in households that have plenty of debt, to families that have less personal debt. If children in those households that have plenty of personal debt are doing worse than the youngsters in the family members with less debts, we may say that debts could be an explanation why.

A problem with this traditional analysis is that we’re evaluating different households (what we would call a “between-family” assessment), and family members are different for many reasons- correlation is not causation, as the saying goes. What we do in this study is a little different. That is, we follow the same families over time and essentially ask: what happens to children in families as their parents take on (or discharge) debt over time. Thus, we’re fundamentally making a “within-family” evaluation.

Instead of evaluating different families to one another, we’re comparing family members to themselves over time. Children whose parents have any debt on average acquired higher socioemotional well-being with 0.21 SDs fewer behavioral problems. Children whose parents have credit card debt had 0.12 SDs more behavior problems than those with any credit card debt. 10,000 in unsecured debt, this leads to a 0.5 SD upsurge in child behavior problems, a substantial effect on child well-being.

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