First steps out of debt: Attitudes and social identity as predictors of contact by debtors with creditors
Questionnaire research was carried out to identify factors that may encourage problem debtors to take the first steps towards getting out of debt. Consumers with debt problems were identified with the aid of creditor organisations and Her Majesty's Court Service for England and Wales. Responses were also sought from non-debtors from the same consumer groups as the debtors. Response rates from debtors were very low, but results confirmed the existence of a group of chronically poor consumers with widespread and long-lasting debt and also confirmed the demographic differences between this group of debtors and non-debtors found in previous research. These debtors showed marked attitudinal differences from non-debtors, with reduced optimism and financial self-esteem, and a less internal economic locus of control. They also showed a distinct social identity, identifying with fellow debtors and feeling stigmatised both generally and personally. Within the debtor group, engagement with creditors was higher in people reporting lower debt levels, but seeking advice was more frequent in those reporting higher debts. Engagement was associated with a stronger attitude of financial self-efficacy and with a perception of the debtor identity as more permeable. Neither demographic nor psychological factors significantly predicted which debtors would seek advice.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tokunaga, Howard, 1993. "The use and abuse of consumer credit: Application of psychological theory and research," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 285-316, June.
- Stone, Brice & Maury, Rosalinda Vasquez, 2006. "Indicators of personal financial debt using a multi-disciplinary behavioral model," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 543-556, August.
- Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2005. "Debt and distress: Evaluating the psychological cost of credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 642-663, October.
- John M. Barron & Michael E. Staten & Stephanie M. Wilshusen, 2002. "The Impact Of Casino Gambling On Personal Bankruptcy Filing Rates," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 440-455, October.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
- Oosterbeek, Hessel & van den Broek, Anja, 2009. "An empirical analysis of borrowing behaviour of higher education students in the Netherlands," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 170-177, April.
- Sarah Brown & Gaia Garino & Karl Taylor & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005.
"Debt and Financial Expectations: An Individual- and Household-Level Analysis,"
Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(1), pages 100-120, January.
- Sarah Brown & Karl Taylor & Gaia Garino & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2003. "Debt and financial expectations: an individual and household level analysis," Discussion Papers in Economics 03/5, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Feb 2004.
- George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
- Hartarska, Valentina & Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio, 2006. "Evidence on the effect of credit counseling on mortgage loan default by low-income households," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 63-79, March.
- Viaud, Jean & Roland-Levy, Christine, 2000. "A positional and representational analysis of consumption. Households when facing debt and credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 411-432, August.
- Lea, Stephen E. G. & Webley, Paul & Levine, R. Mark, 1993. "The economic psychology of consumer debt," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 85-119, March.
- Davies, Emma & Lea, Stephen E. G., 1995. "Student attitudes to student debt," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 663-679, December.
- Lea, Stephen E. G. & Webley, Paul & Walker, Catherine M., 1995. "Psychological factors in consumer debt: Money management, economic socialization, and credit use," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 681-701, December.
- Livingstone, Sonia M. & Lunt, Peter K., 1992. "Predicting personal debt and debt repayment: Psychological, social and economic determinants," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 111-134, March.
- Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1998. "The Red and the Black: Mental Accounting of Savings and Debt," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(1), pages 4-28. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:6:p:1021-1034. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.