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Two Sides of the Same Coin? The Differing Roles of Assets and Consumer Debt in Marriage

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  • Jeffrey Dew

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Abstract

This study examines whether assets and consumer debts relate to change in marital satisfaction and conflict in opposing ways or in independent ways. It also tests whether these relationships are direct or mediated. Using a nationally representative longitudinal sample, the results indicate that assets and consumer debt influence change in marital outcomes in mostly independent rather than complementary ways. Consistent with prior literature, assets work indirectly by decreasing feelings of economic pressure. Consumer debt, however, directly predicts changes in marital conflict, even after controlling for variables in the family stress model. Debts also act indirectly by decreasing depression once economic pressure is included in the model. This unexpected suppressor effect suggests that the meaning of debts may not be straightforward. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Dew, 2007. "Two Sides of the Same Coin? The Differing Roles of Assets and Consumer Debt in Marriage," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 89-104, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jfamec:v:28:y:2007:i:1:p:89-104
    DOI: 10.1007/s10834-006-9051-6
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10834-006-9051-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ferber, Robert & Lee, Lucy Chao, 1980. " Asset Accumulation in Early Married Life," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(5), pages 1173-1188, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Sondra Beverly & Amanda Moore & Mark Schreiner, 2001. "A Framework of Asset-Accumulation Stages and Strategies," Development and Comp Systems 0109004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    1. repec:kap:jfamec:v:39:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10834-018-9572-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:kap:jfamec:v:40:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s10834-019-09624-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:finana:v:62:y:2019:i:c:p:150-156 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Leah Gjertson, 2016. "Emergency Saving and Household Hardship," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-17, March.
    5. Chang-Keun Han & Song-Iee Hong, 2011. "Assets and Life Satisfaction Patterns Among Korean Older Adults: Latent Class Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 100(2), pages 225-240, January.
    6. Hoelzl, Erik & Pollai, Maria & Kamleitner, Bernadette, 2009. "Experience, prediction and recollection of loan burden," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 446-454, June.
    7. repec:kap:jfamec:v:39:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10834-018-9566-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fenaba R. Addo, 2017. "Financial Integration and Relationship Transitions of Young Adult Cohabiters," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 84-99, March.
    9. David Schramm & V. William Harris, 2011. "Marital Quality and Income: An Examination of the Influence of Government Assistance," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 437-448, September.
    10. repec:spr:demogr:v:56:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s13524-019-00800-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:kap:jfamec:v:40:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s10834-019-09611-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Lawrence M. Berger & J. Michael Collins & Laura Cuesta, 2016. "Household Debt and Adult Depressive Symptoms in the United States," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 42-57, March.
    13. Song-Iee Hong & Chang-Keun Han, 2014. "Asset Impacts on Life Satisfaction in an Asset-Rich Country: Focusing on Older Adults in Singapore," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 125-140, August.
    14. repec:kap:jfamec:v:39:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10834-017-9556-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Matthew Painter & Jonathan Vespa, 2012. "The Role of Cohabitation in Asset and Debt Accumulation During Marriage," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 491-506, December.
    16. Daniel Schneider, & Sara McLanahan & Kristen Harknett, 2014. "Intimate Partner Violence In The Great Recession," Working Papers wp14-04-ff, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    17. Jeffrey Dew, 2011. "The Association Between Consumer Debt and the Likelihood of Divorce," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 554-565, December.

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    Keywords

    Assets; Conflict; Debts; Marriage; Satisfaction;

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