Age, debt and anxiety

J Health Soc Behav. 2000 Dec;41(4):437-50.


What is the association between debt and anxiety? Is the relationship between age and anxiety in part due to financial debt? Recently there has been a renewed interest for the reconceptualization and measurement of socioeconomic status that moves beyond the standard education, occupation, and income. This paper uses credit card debt and stress regarding debt to examine the relationship among age, debt, and anxiety. Using data from a 1997 representative sample of more than 1,000 adults in Ohio, results show that anxiety does increase with the ratio of credit card debt to income, and with being in default; but credit card debt accounts for little of the age-anxiety association. Stress regarding overall debt does explain some of the age effect. In addition, stress also explains some of the effect of the credit card debt to income ratio, and all of the effect of default on anxiety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Economics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk