Research by PFC

K-State's Powercat Financial Counseling strives to be a leader in clinical research by collecting pre- and post-data from individual client sessions and group presentations. Some of the key findings of the research include the following:

  • Who seeks free financial counseling?

College-age financial counseling help seekers tend to be older, less satisfied with their income, less knowledgeable, less wealthy, and more stressed. The results from this study suggest that college financial counseling centers are reaching the students they were designed to reach, and that public policy initiatives designed to provide broad-based financial education to young people may be an effective tool for increasing financial well-being and reducing financial stress.

  • Does debt increase student financial anxiety?

Results indicate that low financial satisfaction, high amounts of student loan debt, and being female are significant factors influencing high financial anxiety.

  • Does perceived financial knowledge of college students predict current debt load?

A multiple regression was conducted, entering the variables of age, marital status, gender, ethnicity, gross income, perceived financial knowledge, and net worth simultaneously. The model explained 20% of the variance in total debt. Only higher perceived financial knowledge and lower net worth were found to be significant factors influencing total debt.

  • How does financial mental health distress influence college students’ financial behaviors?

Financial mental health anxiety was found to predict college students’ tendency to spend beyond their means, reporting a difficulty paying their monthly bills, obtaining cash advances, and reaching the maximum on their credit cards. In addition, female students are more likely to pay credit card bills in full, older students are more likely to reach maximum on credit cards, those with credit card debt are more likely to exhibit worse financial behaviors, and students with a low level of student loan debt are more likely to reach the maximum on their credit cards.

Upcoming research questions to be answered include the following:

  • Is student financial knowledge (measured objectively and subjectively) related to financial satisfaction and financial stress?
  • Does student locus of control orientation influence financial management behaviors?
  • Do students change their financial behaviors after seeking free financial counseling?
  • Are group presentations effective in changing student awareness of their financial situation?
  • Do depressive symptoms affect financial stress and financial satisfaction?
  • Do financial factors affect depressive symptoms?

To request additional information about the research projects above, please contact Dr. Sonya Britt, Assistant Professor of Personal Financial Planning in the School of Family Studies and Human Services, at sbritt@k-state.edu or 785-532-3541.