This paper reports the results of a cross-national study spanning England, New Zealand and the United States. A total of 496 first year undergraduates studying business or social science completed a 20-item questionnaire. This focused on their attitudes to their debt incurred while studying, as measured on a five-point Likert scale. A factor analysis model was developed, from which four consistent factors emerged, explaining 45 percent of the variation and consistent between countries. These factors were named: Anxiety, Utility-For-Lifestyle, Utility-For-Investment and Awareness. The first three factors were found to be uncorrelated with each other, but higher Awareness was associated with lower levels of Anxiety and Utility-For-Lifestyle and higher levels of Utility-For-Investment. The relationship with previous studies and implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The lead author would like to acknowledge financial support (grant reference SG130227) from the Leverhulme Trust via the British Academy’s Small Grants Programme.
© 2014 Elsevier B.V.
- Consumer attitudes and behaviour
- Debt attitudes
- Educational finance
- Factor analysis
- Higher education