Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 179–196

Attitudinal, Self-Efficacy, and Social Norms Determinants of Young Consumers’ Propensity to Overspend on Credit Cards

Original paper


Research in marketing related to credit card behavior has generally found that overspending and credit card debt depend on the individual’s attitude toward spending on credit or a lack of behavioral control. The individual’s social environment has received much less attention and is presumed to have very little effect, if any. In the present study, the propensity of young individuals to overspend on their credit cards is examined as a function of attitude, self-efficacy, and social norms. A survey was conducted among a sample of 225 young adult consumers (i.e., college business students) who provided measures of attitude, self-efficacy, and social norms related to overspending on credit cards. The findings revealed that social norms that are descriptive and specific to credit card overspending have a statistically significant impact on an individual’s propensity to overspend on credit cards whereas attitude toward credit card overspending does not. They also show that the extent to which young consumers perceive a sense of behavioral control towards overspending on credit cards is a significant factor to consider. Theoretical and managerial implications of these findings as well as opportunities for further research are discussed.


Overspending on credit cards Attitude Self-efficacy Social norms Young consumers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementNew York Institute of TechnologyNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.MontréalCanada

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