Sociodemographic Characteristics, Financial Worries and Serious Psychological Distress in U.S. Adults

Weissman, J., Russell, D., Mann, J. J.

Economic recessions have been well studied in relationship to poor mental health. However, subjective financial worries have not been examined relative to serious psychological distress (SPD), a measure of poor mental health. Adults 18 to 64 years in the cross-sectional 2016 National Health Interview Survey (n = 24,126) were examined for worries about paying for bills, serious medical events, expected medical costs, retirement, children’s college tuition and maintaining a standard of living; by sociodemographic such as sex and race/ethnicity. Over 50% of adults reported two or more financial worries. In multivariate models, financial worries were associated with SPD. White adults at the lowest education level had the greatest proportion with SPD compared with all other race/ethnic groups. Women had greater risk for SPD and for each financial worry compared with men. Financial worries were prevalent in U.S. adults, were associated with increased risk for SPD, and varied by sex.

Health Condition(s): Mental health & mental illness
Year Published: 2020
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