Associations between pharmacy students’ attitudes toward debt, stress, and student loans

Marie Chisholm-Burns, Christina Spivey, Melanie C. Jaeger, Jennifer Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective. To assess graduating pharmacy students’ attitudes toward debt and determine associations with stress, student loan debt, financial need, current employment, post-graduation plans, and expected length of time to repay loans. Methods. Survey was conducted using an attitudes-toward-debt scale (sub-scales: tolerant attitudes toward debt; contemplation and knowledge about loans; fear of debt), Perceived Stress Scale, and questions concerning current employment, estimated total student loan debt, post-graduation plans, and expected length of time to repay loans. Federal loan data were collected using financial aid records. Independent samples t-test, ANOVA, and Pearson’s r correlations were conducted. Results. There were 147 students (96.7%) who participated. The majority were female (59.2%), white (69.4%), and had federal student loans (90.5%). Mean total loan amount was $153,276 (SD $59,810), which included federal students loans accumulated before and during pharmacy school. No significant differences were noted on attitudes toward debt or stress based on whether respondents had federal student loans. Greater “fear of debt” was correlated with increased stress, estimated total student loan debt, total federal loan debt, and pharmacy school loan debt. Greater “contemplation and knowledge about loans” was correlated with lower estimated total student loan debt, total federal loan amount, and pharmacy school loan amount. Students with higher “contemplation and knowledge” scores expected to repay loans within a shorter time frame than students with lower scores. Conclusion. Increased fear of debt was related to greater perceived stress and higher student loan amounts borrowed, while increased contemplation and knowledge about loans was associated with lower amounts borrowed. Educational programming concerning loans, debt, and personal financial management may help reduce stress and amount borrowed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5918
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Volume81
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Pharmacy Students
Training Support
loan
indebtedness
Pharmacy Schools
student
Fear
Students
Financial Management
Analysis of Variance
anxiety

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

Associations between pharmacy students’ attitudes toward debt, stress, and student loans. / Chisholm-Burns, Marie; Spivey, Christina; Jaeger, Melanie C.; Williams, Jennifer.

In: American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, Vol. 81, No. 7, 5918, 01.01.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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