APLUS Wave 1.5: Economic Impact Study: Financial Well-Being, Coping Behaviors and Trust among Young Adults

Parents, more than anything, exert the most influence over their children when it comes to developing positive financial attitudes and behaviors— 1.5 times more than continuing financial education and more than twice as much as what children hear from their friends.

Recently funded by NEFE and completed in November 2009, Wave 1.5 is a follow-up survey to examine how the recent economic crisis affected the finances and well-being of a subsample of the APLUS students.

Nearly all students reported that the economic crisis had affected their families (95 percent), their own finances (93 percent) and their own money management (95 percent). The crisis also ultimately affected students’ confidence, behavior, and trust in financial institutions and overall well-being.

Overall, the students reporting the most impact also reported:

  • The highest increases in credit card debt
  • The deepest declines in psychological, physical and financial well-being
  • Significantly more responsible budgeting behaviors but fewer savings behaviors
  • Significantly more typical and extreme coping strategies

The economic impact from Wave 1 to Wave 1.5 affected women more financially and men more academically.

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