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The impact that unmanageable debt can have on children

Families who face high levels of debt are also at risk of suffering high levels of stress. Couples often fight over money matters, and unmanageable debt can place a significant amount of pressure on a partnership. What many in California may not know, however, is that debt can also have a negative impact on children.

Researchers have looked at the impact that debt has on kids, and the results suggest that children are far more significantly impacted by debt than previously believed. The study looked at a sample of more than 9,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14. The total debt that their parents carried was calculated, and researchers tracked the behavioral problems of the children over a period of 22 years.  

What was discovered is that the children of parents who had an average of $10,000 in unsecured debt were more likely to experience behavioral issues than those whose parents did not carry significant unsecured debt. The difference was quantified as being a deviation of 12 percent. Interestingly, families who saw their debt level rise from $5,000 to $10,000 experienced a 50 percent deviation from the standard.

When a family is facing serious debt struggles, the stress that accompanies such a burden will impact each and every member of the family. Many California parents believe that they can shield their children from financial troubles, but studies, such as the one mentioned here, suggest that kids will feel the effects when the family is facing unmanageable debt. For parents who are concerned about the impact that their own financial scenarios may have on their children, it may be time to give personal bankruptcy serious consideration.

Source:, "Here's How Your Debt Can Harm Your Children's Happiness", Maurie Backman, Feb. 21, 2016

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