The ability to manage debt is perceived to be associated with mental health problems

A new study reveals that people who report problems with their debt management have increased rates of anxiety and depression.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and measures to slow the spread of the virus have strained household finances around the world, and economic conditions continue to pose many challenges. Previous research has linked financial stress during the pandemic to worse mental health. Other research suggests that subjective factors related to debt, such as anxiety and stress, may have a stronger statistical association with mental health than the actual amount of debt a person has. or other objective factors. However, it remains unclear how people’s ability to manage debt relates to their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emotional Effects of Debt – Depression, Stress and Anxiety

To deepen their understanding, Shevlin and colleagues analyzed data from the Society for the Study of COVID-19 Psychology Wave 6, a survey of 2,058 UK adults conducted in August, and September 2021. Among other questions, the survey asked participants to rate how they feel their debt is manageable, given a history of treating health difficulties mental health and answered standardized questions to measure anxiety and depression.

‘UK adults who report more problems managing debt have a higher risk of depression, anxiety.’

The analysis found that 24% of participants reported problems with debt management, and these participants had higher levels of anxiety, depression, and mental health treatment. After accounting for socioeconomic differences between participants, the researchers showed that the more severe a participant rated their debt management problem, the more the possibility of anxiety, depression, or mental health treatment.

The authors note that, while these findings suggest a relationship between perceived debt management problems and mental health difficulties, they do not indicate whether the problem exists. cause the problem or not. However, the study highlights debt as a threat to mental health and shows the need for strategies to combat the harmful effects of debt – which may also be important now, as people UK residents are currently facing a cost of living crisis.


The authors add: “Debt-related psychological problems are not limited to low-income individuals. Regardless of your income, your beliefs about your ability to manage debt It’s your own life that matters; perceived problems with debt management are associated with depression, anxiety, and seeking mental health help.”

Source: Eurekalert


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