Methods: Data used were drawn from the 2013 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), which provides a unique opportunity to understand connections between economic status over multiple generations. The analytic sample consisted of cases of black females (n=1023). Women in the sample ages ranged from 25- to 64-years old with 50% between the ages of 25- and 44-years old (n=514). Within the sample, the average debt amount was $8,896.88, with a range from $0 to $343,176.94. Descriptive statistics were ran for study variables: debt, age, years of education, wealth, and years of marriage. Linear regression analysis was performed using SPSS.
Results: Findings revealed a significant and positive relationship between years of education and debt (β=.30, p <.001) after controlling for covariates. The moderating effect showed that the positive relationship between education and debt was more prominent for participants age 25-44. Conversely, the interaction effect between years of education and age was found to be significant yet negative (β =-.54, p=.006), this may be due to younger aged black women seeking more education in comparison to older black women.
Conclusions and Implications: As more young women pursue college and baby boomers enter retirement age, understanding factors that impact debt accumulation among women becomes essential for social workers. This knowledge will be particularly helpful to those who work with black women disproportionately represented among student loan borrowers.
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