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Br J Health Psychol. 2005 Sep;10(Pt 3):421-39.

The impact of financial circumstances on student health.

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Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, UK.



To explore the impact of students' financial circumstances on their mental and physical health.


The study employed a correlational design.


An opportunity sample of 89 British students and 98 Finnish students completed a questionnaire which assessed their amount of debt, financial concerns, mental and physical health, smoking and drinking behaviours, work in addition to study, and perceptions of control.


British students reported greater levels of debt and financial concern than Finnish students. They also reported significantly worse mental and physical health on a variety of dimensions. Financial concern was a significant linear predictor of mental and physical health, with increased financial concern being consistently associated with worse health. There was no evidence that students' smoking or drinking behaviour, work in addition to study, or perceptions of control substantially mediated the relationship between financial concern and health.


The results support the position that students' financial circumstances might have serious implications for their health. It is proposed, therefore, that recent changes in government funding policies for students could have a negative impact on student health and exacerbate finance-related health inequalities. Further research is required to identify factors that may mediate or moderate the impact of financial concern on health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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