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      The high price of debt: Household financial debt and its impact on mental and physical health

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      Social Science & Medicine
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Household financial debt in America has risen dramatically in recent years. While there is evidence that debt is associated with adverse psychological health, its relationship with other health outcomes is relatively unknown. We investigate the associations of multiple indices of financial debt with psychological and general health outcomes among 8400 young adult respondents from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Our findings show that reporting high financial debt relative to available assets is associated with higher perceived stress and depression, worse self-reported general health, and higher diastolic blood pressure. These associations remain significant when controlling for prior socioeconomic status, psychological and physical health, and other demographic factors. The results suggest that debt is an important socioeconomic determinant of health that should be explored further in social epidemiology research. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Social Science & Medicine
          Social Science & Medicine
          Elsevier BV
          02779536
          August 2013
          August 2013
          : 91
          : 94-100
          Article
          10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.05.009
          3718010
          23849243
          dabbe060-4970-4f2e-ad92-c480fb191ff1
          © 2013

          https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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