Determinants of UK students’ financial anxiety amidst Covid-19: Financial literacy and attitudes towards debt

Journal article


Perry, J. M., Ravat, H., Bridger, E. K., Carter, P. and Aldrovandi, S. (2023). Determinants of UK students’ financial anxiety amidst Covid-19: Financial literacy and attitudes towards debt. Higher Education Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12473
AuthorsPerry, J. M., Ravat, H., Bridger, E. K., Carter, P. and Aldrovandi, S.
Abstract

Due to the increased financial pressure—exacerbated by
the COVID-19 pandemic—that students in higher education need to endure, considerable attention is being drawn
towards the determinants of student financial anxiety. A
conflicting picture has been captured about financial literacy, which has been shown to either be associated with
better financial well-being or to be unrelated to financial
stress. While discerning between financial knowledge (‘objective’ financial literacy) and perceived ability to manage personal finances (‘subjective’ financial literacy), this study also explores the impact that students' attitudes towards debt may exert on their financial anxiety. In a sample of 174 university students from the UK, we measured students' financial anxiety, objective and subjective financial literacy, attitudes towards debt and perceived impact of COVID-19 on financial behaviour. Bayesian analyses revealed that only attitudes towards debt and perception of
the impact of the pandemic predicted students' financial
anxiety. While the evidence in regard to financial literacy
was inconclusive, mediation analyses showed that objective financial literacy indirectly impacted financial anxiety by increasing fear of debt. The findings suggest that students' financial anxiety may be reduced by adopting strategies that focus on the subjective perception of debt and of economic circumstances.

Keywordsfinancial anxiety; financial literacy; fear of debt; debt utility; university students
Year2023
JournalHigher Education Quarterly
PublisherWiley
ISSN 1468-2273
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12473
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12473
Publication dates
Print06 Oct 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Sep 2023
Deposited20 Nov 2023
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
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