Science for Society: Financial Debt and Mental Well-Being

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Finances and financial decision-making play key roles in everyday life. Particularly in capitalist markets with fewer social safety nets, having and using money is critical not only for enjoyment, but for meeting survival needs such as housing, food, and medical care. Thus, when people find themselves in debt after a great hardship, debt may pose a consequential risk factor for increased stress. This panel will discuss the impact of financial debt on psychological well-being.


Head shot of Min Zhan

Min Zhan

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Min Zhan is professor and poverty researcher at School of Social Work, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She received her PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, and her research centers on identifying social policies and other factors associated with the long-term economic well-being of low-income families with children.

Head shot of Robert Krueger

Robert Krueger

University of Minnesota

Robert Krueger is Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. He completed his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his clinical internship at Brown University.

Head shot of Scott Rick

Scott Rick

Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Scott Rick is a marketing professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He holds a PhD in Behavioral Decision Research from Carnegie Mellon University. He studies the emotional causes and consequences of consumer financial decision-making, with a particular interest in the behavior of tightwads and spendthrifts.