Many research studies have tied high levels of debt to poor mental and physical health. But few scientists have explored whether family debt has implications for children, and whether the source of the debt matters. In a study in the February, 2016 issue of Pediatrics, researchers Lawrence Berger and Jason Houle found that different kinds of parental debt had different implications for children’s well-being. Having higher levels of debt increased the risk of children’s behavior problems if the debt reflected money due on credit cards, medical expenses, and money owed to businesses, individuals, or banks. But if the debt was tied to home mortgages and educational expenses, behavior problems were actually lower than in other families. The authors conclude that debt that allows for investments in homes and education can be beneficial for children. Read more at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/01/20/peds.2015-3059.
About the authors
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