Does How We Feel About Financial Strain Matter for Mental Health?

TitleDoes How We Feel About Financial Strain Matter for Mental Health?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAsebedo, SD, Wilmarth, MJ
JournalJournal of Financial Therapy
ISSN Number19457774
KeywordsDepressive symptoms, Financial burden, Mental Health, Stress

This study investigated how stress responses to financial strain are related to mental health (i.e., depression) to answer the question: Does how we feel about financial strain matter? Informed by the ABC-X model of family stress and analyzed with data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), results reveal that financial strain is significantly related to increased depression; however, financial stress was found to moderate this relationship. Financially strained respondents without a stress response did not have significantly different depression scores than those who were not experiencing financial strain; however, depression scores increased as the stress response to financial strain increased. Consistent with the ABC-X model, results suggest that financial strain is a neutral event until it is processed and interpreted by an individual, with subjective perceptions a more powerful predictor of mental health than objective financial circumstances. These results emphasize an area of synergy for financial and mental health researchers and professionals.

Short TitleJournal of Financial Therapy
Citation Key9320