Social Indicators Research

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 53–68

Acting for Happiness: Financial Behavior and Life Satisfaction of College Students

Article

Abstract

Recent research on well-being suggests that domain-specific behaviors contribute to domain-specific satisfactions, which in turn contribute to an individual’s overall satisfaction with life. Our study is an attempt to add to the literature by observing these phenomena from a financial perspective. Using data collected from a sample of undergraduate students at a major state university in the U.S. and employing structural equation modeling, we have found evidence suggesting that positive financial behaviors contribute to financial satisfaction and financial satisfaction in turn contributes to life satisfaction. In addition, positive financial behaviors contribute to life satisfaction through two more mediating variables: academic performance and academic satisfaction.

Keywords

Life satisfaction Financial satisfaction Academic satisfaction Financial behavior 

References

  1. Aitken, N. D. (1982). College student performance, satisfaction and retention: specification and estimation of a structural model. The Journal of Higher Education, 53(1), 32–50. doi:10.2307/1981537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, J. C., & Gerbing, D. W. (1988). Structural equation modeling in practice: A review and recommended two-step approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103(3), 411–423. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.103.3.411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andrews, B., & Wilding, J. M. (2004). The relation of depression and anxiety to life-stress and achievement in students. The British Journal of Psychology, 95, 509–521. doi:10.1348/0007126042369802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. The American Psychologist, 55, 469–480. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arthaud-Day, M. L., & Near, J. P. (2005). The wealth of nations and the happiness of nations: Why ‘‘accounting’’ matters. Social Indicators Research, 74, 511–548. doi:10.1007/s11205-004-6397-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baum, S., & O’Malley, M. (2003). College on credit: How borrowers perceive their education debt: Results of the 2002 national student loan survey. (Final report). Washington, DC: Nellie Mae Corporation.Google Scholar
  7. Benjamin, M. (1994). The quality of student life: Toward a coherent conceptualization. Social Indicators Research, 31, 205–264. doi:10.1007/BF01078209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Benjamin, M., & Hollings, A. (1995). Toward a theory of student satisfaction: An exploratory study of the “quality of student life”. Journal of College Student Development, 38, 213–228.Google Scholar
  9. Benjamin, M., & Hollings, A. (1997). Student satisfaction: Test of an ecological model. Journal of College Student Development, 38, 213–228.Google Scholar
  10. Bowling, A., & Windsor, J. (2001). Towards the good life: A population survey of dimensions of quality of life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2, 55–81. doi:10.1023/A:1011564713657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Broadbridge, A., & Swanson, V. (2006). Managing two roles: A theoretical study of students’ employment whilst at university. Community Work & Family, 9(2), 159–179. doi:10.1080/13668800600586878.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cha, K.-H. (2003). Subjective well-being among college students. Social Indicators Research, 62–63, 455–477. doi:10.1023/A:1022669906470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chow, H. P. H. (2005). Life satisfaction among university students in a Canadian prairie city: A multivariate analysis. Social Indicators Research, 70, 139–150. doi:10.1007/s11205-004-7526-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cummins, R. A. (2000a). Personal income and subjective well-being: A review. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1, 133–158. doi:10.1023/A:1010079728426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cummins, R. A. (2000b). Objective and subjective quality of life: an interactive model. Social Indicators Research, 52, 55–72. doi:10.1023/A:1007027822521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95(3), 542–575. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.95.3.542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Diener, E., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2002). Will money increase subjective well-being? Social Indicators Research, 57(2), 119–169. doi:10.1023/A:1014411319119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Diener, E. D., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa4901_13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. GAO. (2001). Consumer finance: College students and credit cards. Washington, DC: United States General Accounting Office.Google Scholar
  20. Grable, J., & Joo, H. (2006). Student racial differences in credit card debt and financial behaviors and stress. College Student Journal, 40(2), 400–408.Google Scholar
  21. Hayhoe, C. R., Leach, L. J., Turner, P. R., Bruin, M. J., & Lawrence, F. C. (2000). Differences in spending habits and credit card use of college students. The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 34(1), 113–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Headey, B., Muffels, R., & Wooden, M. (2008). Money does not buy happiness: Or does it? A reassessment based on the combined effects of wealth, income and consumption. Social Indicators Research, 87(1), 65–82. doi:10.1007/s11205-007-9146-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hilgert, M. A., Hogarth, J. M., & Beverly, S. G. (2003). Household financial management: The connection between knowledge and behavior. Federal Reserve Bulletin, 89, 309–322.Google Scholar
  24. Hsieh, C.-M. (2004). Income and financial satisfaction among older adults in the United States. Social Indicators Research, 66, 249–266. doi:10.1023/B:SOCI.0000003585.94742.aa.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Joo, H. (2008). Personal financial wellness. In J. J. Xiao (Ed.), Handbook of consumer finance research (pp. 21–33). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-75734-6_2.Google Scholar
  26. Lounsbury, J. W., Saudargas, R. A., Gibson, L. W., & Leong, F. T. (2005). An investigation of broad and narrow personality traits in relation to general and domain-specific life satisfaction of college students. Research in Higher Education, 46(6), 707–729. doi:10.1007/s11162-004-4140-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lynbomirsky, S., Sheldon, K., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9(2), 111–131. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.9.2.111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lyons, A. C. (2008). Risky credit behavior of college students. In J. J. Xiao (Ed.), Handbook of consumer finance research (pp. 185–207). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-75734-6_11.Google Scholar
  29. Maddux, E. M. (2002). A behavioral model to optimize financial quality of life. Social Indicators Research, 60, 155–177. doi:10.1023/A:1021261014699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Manning, R. D. (2000). Credit card nation: The consequences of America’s addiction to credit. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  31. Michalos, A. C. (1991). Global report on student well-being. Volume I: Life satisfaction and happiness. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  32. Michalos, A. C., & Orlando, J. A. (2006). A note on student quality of life. Social Indicators Research, 79, 51–59. doi:10.1007/s11205-005-2404-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mugenda, O. M., Hira, T. K., & Fanslow, A. M. (1990). Assessing the causal relationship among communication, money management practices, satisfaction with financial status, and satisfaction with quality of life. Lifestyles: Family and Economic Issues, 11(4), 343–360. doi:10.1007/BF00987345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Noel-Leviz. (2007). National student satisfaction and priorities report. Retrieved September 15, 2007 from http://www.noellevitz.com/benchmark2007.
  35. O’Neill, B., Xiao, J. J., Bristow, B. J., Brennan, P., & Kerbel, C. M. (2000). Successful financial goal attainment: Perceived resources and obstacles. Financial Counseling and Planning, 11(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  36. Otake, K., Shimai, S., Tanaka-Matsumi, J., Otsui, K., & Fredrickson, B. I. (2006). Happy people become happier through kindness: A counting kindnesses intervention. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7, 361–375. doi:10.1007/s10902-005-3650-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5(2), 164–172. doi:10.1037/1040-3590.5.2.164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pilcher, J. J. (1998). Affective and daily event predictors of life satisfaction in college students. Social Indicators Research, 43, 291–306. doi:10.1023/A:1006883231707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ross, S., Cleland, J., & Macleod, M. J. (2006). Stress, debt and undergraduate medical student performance. Medical Education, 40, 584–589. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2929.2006.02448.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schmuck, P., Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic goals: Their structure and relationship to well-being in German and U.S. college students. Social Indicators Research, 50, 225–241. doi:10.1023/A:1007084005278 Google Scholar
  41. Schyns, P. (2001). Income and satisfaction in Russia. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2, 173–204. doi:10.1023/A:1011564631319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sighieri, C., Desantis, G., & Tanturri, M. L. (2006). The richer, the happier? An empirical investigation in selected European countries. Social Indicators Research, 79, 455–476. doi:10.1007/s11205-005-5394-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sirgy, M. J., Grzeskowiak, S., & Rahtz, D. (2007). Quality of college life (QCL) of students: Developing and validating a measure of well-being. Social Indicators Research, 80, 343–360. doi:10.1007/s11205-005-5921-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sirgy, M. J., Michalos, A. C., Ferriss, A. L., Easterlin, R. E., Patrick, D., & Pavot, W. (2006). The quality-of-life (QOL) research movement: Past, present, and future. Social Indicators Research, 76, 343–466. doi:10.1007/s11205-005-2877-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Vaez, M., Kristenson, M., & Lafamme, L. (2004). Perceived quality of life and self-rated health among first-year university students: A comparison with their working peers. Social Indicators Research, 68, 221–234. doi:10.1023/B:SOCI.0000025594.76886.56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Vera-Toscano, E., Ateca-Amestoy, V., & Serrano-del-Rosal, R. (2006). Building financial satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 77, 211–243. doi:10.1007/s11205-005-2614-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Xiao, J. J. (2008). Applying behavior theories to financial behavior. In J. J. Xiao (Ed.), Handbook of consumer finance research (pp. 69–81). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-75734-6_5.Google Scholar
  48. Xiao, J. J., O’Neill, B., Prochaska, J., Kerbel, C., Brennan, P., & Bristow, B. (2004). A consumer education program based on the transtheoretical model of change. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 28(1), 55–65. doi:10.1111/j.1470-6431.2004.00334.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Xiao, J.J., Shim, S., Barber, B., & Lyons, A. (2007). Academic success and well-being of college students: Financial behaviors matter. (Report). Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research.Google Scholar
  50. Xiao, J. J., Sorhaindo, B., & Garman, E. T. (2006). Financial behavior of consumers in credit counseling. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 30(2), 108–121. doi:10.1111/j.1470-6431.2005.00455.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Yestim, U. (2003). The impacts of individualism/collectivism, self-esteem, and feeling of mastery on life satisfaction among the Turkish university students and academicians. Social Indicators Research, 61, 297–317. doi:10.1023/A:1021911504113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yu, G. B.-H., & Lee, D.-J. (2008). A model of quality of college life (QCL) of students in Korea. Social Indicators Research, 87(2), 269–285. doi:10.1007/s11205-007-9172-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  2. 2.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Personalised recommendations