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Financial Anxiety Among College Students: The Role of Generational Status

Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning / March 2020


Rethinking Financial Aid

Both financial anxiety and first-generation student status have been linked to negative academic outcomes, mental health issues, and poor social adjustment among college students; however, each factor has been studied in isolation. This article examines the predictors of financial anxiety, including generational status, using the Roy Adaptation Model and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis on data from a large, Midwestern public university. First-generation student status was positively associated with financial anxiety in multivariate modeling. Proxies for students’ self-concepts, including financial comparisons to peers and perceived mastery, had the largest contribution to the model. Financial counseling programs geared toward first-generation college students may impact their self-concepts and reduce financial anxiety.

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